Montgomery County on track to allow alcohol in some public parks

A new directive would allow for alcohol consumption in some Montgomery County, Maryland, public parks.

The county is looking to expand its “Picnic in the Park” initiative, which took effect in August. The program encourages park-goers to support and order from nearby restaurants during the pandemic.

Currently, park visitors can scan signs with QR codes to find restaurants that deliver food right to their socially-distanced picnic location in the park.

If approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board next week, residents will be allowed to order alcohol from those same restaurants starting Sept. 17.

“We know people do occasionally like to have a glass of wine or beer with their lunch or dinner, so we know that will attract more participation,” Montgomery Parks Director Michael Riley said.

Alcohol is currently prohibited at all county parks, with some exceptions.

The rule would be in place until the end of May 2021 and could be extended by up to a year if successful.

Montgomery Parks won’t ban anyone from bringing their own alcohol during the initiative but prefers patrons buy their beer, wine, mixed drinks or spirits from restaurants with food orders.

“Alcohol will only be allowed in those places,” Riley said. “We’ll have park police closely monitoring for lawful behavior.”

Alcohol consumption will also be restricted to designated picnic areas in each of nine parks:

  • Jesup Blair Local Park
  • Acorn Urban Park
  • Germantown Town Center Urban Park
  • Norwood Local Park
  • Olney Manor Recreational Park
  • Takoma Urban Park
  • Wall Local Park
  • Wheaton Local Park
  • Wheaton Regional Park

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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