While thousands of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day with alcohol, some Dubliners worry serving beer at their annual festival will tarnish the city's reputation as a family-friendly town.
At their next meeting, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce board of directors will discuss seeking a brewing company's sponsorship of the St. Patrick's Day Festival next March. Last year, the city council denied the chamber's request to serve alcohol at city park during the festival, though they initially approved the idea.
Board President Mike Simpson said potential benefits include revenue from alcohol sales and sponsorship and free promotional advertising.
"New revenues could be generated from beer sales, and perhaps sponsorship," Simpson said. "The brewing company has offered to promote St. Patrick's in Dublin at their points of purchase across the region and the availability of beer for purchase would make the event more fun for some people."
However, the chamber acknowledges there may be unintended consequences.
"Direct chamber affiliation with an alcohol sponsor could compromise Dublin's family-friendly perception and there could be unintended consequences from serving alcohol at chamber events," Simpson said. "These could negatively impact the safety and economy of Dublin."
Chamber staff wants input from the community during the board meeting at noon Monday at the chamber office.
Opinions can also be sent to Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org and Chamber Director Nancy Wooldridge at email@example.com. All responses will be kept anonymous.