Selectmen a little ‘icy’ on Chamber’s Winter Carnival bar idea

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Looking to add a little spice to the Winter Carnival, the Chamber of Commerce plans to include ice sculpturing and an ice bar to the popular February event.

Bridgton selectmen, however, were a little “icy” on the idea of serving alcohol as part of the festivities at Highland Lake Beach.

“I’m not too thrilled” about serving alcohol, Selectman Bob McHatton said at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

New selectman Bob Murphy echoed that thought, feeling with many young children at the event, alcohol does not need to be part of the equation.

Chairman Greg Watkins wondered if policy might prevent alcohol use there, since the town has signs posted at the beach area prohibiting alcohol use.

Town Manager Robert Peabody, however, pointed out that alcohol use is allowed at the town hall under the provisions of a licensed caterer.

“It’s really up to you folks,” Peabody said.

The manager felt the ice bar concept is “pretty cool.”

Selectman Bear Zaidman wondered if the ice bar would be positioned inside a tent, where alcohol use could be monitored and contained.

Madelyn Litz, who was in attendance representing the Chamber, said a tent would be used and the ice bar area cordoned off to those of legal age.

“We will keep it contained, just like the Brew Fest,” Litz said. While the Winter Carnival (Saturday, Feb. 18) will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Litz said the ice bar would be open closer to the evening hours.

McHatton responded saying, “The Brew Fest is advertised as such, while the Winter Carnival is more of a family gathering. I don’t know if we need it (alcohol) at this event?”

Selectman Bernie King felt the same way.

Zaidman noted that if there will be more than 50 people at the ice bar, a police presence should be included.

“That’s reasonable,” Litz said.

Selectmen tabled action until their Dec. 27 meeting to enable Chamber officials to draft a complete list of Winter Carnival activities and offer more specifics regarding the ice bar for board review.

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