Case of the blues — Town reports two cases of minors served during ‘Fest’

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Someone was not checking IDs when, on two separate occasions, minors where served alcohol during the Maine Blues Festival.

According to Naples Town Manager John Hawley, during the music festival, there were people working undercover to make sure liquor laws were not being violated.

“There were two violations for serving alcohol to a minor,” he said.

He refrained from naming the businesses that got busted.

The Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages conducts undercover operations to ferret out liquor violations. The bureau pairs up with the Maine State Police Liquor Licensing and Compliance Division.

During the Naples Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Hawley followed up on the Blues Festival, which took place two weekends ago.

The town manager had specifically asked Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) to provide a report showing the number of incidents which required that department’s involvement. There was a total of eight calls to dispatch and four police assists, he said. Only one incident was related to the Bluesfest, Hawley said. That was a case of one person trying to find another who had gotten lost from them. The “missing” person was found and that was resolved, he said.

Hawley, who was hired in February, said it was his first time being in Naples during the Blues Festival so he had no comparisons to make.

“During the day, it seemed pretty quiet and it picked up around evening,” he said, adding he noticed the lines for purchasing wristbands were longer after dinnertime.

“I talked to Kevin Kimball, the organizer. He said they sold out of bracelets. He said they make the same number of the bracelets every year but they ran out and had to sell bracelets” leftover from last year’s festival, he said. “So, attendance is higher but I didn’t hear an exact number.”

Selectman Rich Cebra said that he noticed the music quieted down a lot sooner on Saturday night than in years past. Selectman Kevin Rogers said Gary’s Olde Towne Tavern shut down the music around 11 p.m.

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