Some victories are big, some victories are small. The town of St. Florian just won a reason to celebrate Oktoberfest a bit heartier this year.
St. Florian town is a small Alabama town of approximately four- hundred people (2000 census), in an area called The Shoals. Like many cities and towns throughout the Bible Belt, special events are celebrated ‘dry’: translation, no alcoholic beverages.
The town’s Oktoberfest, which will be held October 2 and 3 this year, is a huge annual event, drawing thousands of people to celebrate food and good company. Past fests have included face painting, the barrel of laffs railroad, and the bouncy house, a play area for jumping. See some of the pictures for this event here. This will be the first time beer has been serviced since the event started.
The Knights of Columbus requested a special permit to serve beer at this year’s celebration. Needless to say, officials gave the traditional speech about jumping through hoops, special meetings, extreme review, and probably every other deterrence excuse and tone known to leaders anywhere. The Knights, instead of playing nice, persisted in their request. The Town Council reviewed the request and requested the Knights of Columbus complete and qualify for a special permit to serve beer. The Council the scheduled hearings and meetings, and finally agreed to grant permission for the serving of beer.
Conditions stipulated that the Knights will serve the beer in a designated area, that they will hire and be responsible for payment of extra security, and that a different insurance policy, which most likely will cover the liability issues of serving alcohol at a social function, is obtained. An additional stipulation is that the beer is only served one day, October 2.
The special events permit has only been granted twice before in the Council’s history. The Kinights of Columbus’ Oktoberfest request may have just reinforced the old saying, ‘Third time’s a charm.’
U.S. Census Bureau, St Florian town, Alabama
ABC3340. St. Florian’s Oktoberfest no longer dry
Nick Laugh. Shoals council passes a permit to allow beer at Oktoberfest