FM vendors, shoppers talk alcohol sales

 

During the Jan. 22 Canton City Council meeting, council members and a few citizens weighed in on whether to allow the sale of beer and wine on First Monday grounds.

After hearing rounds of debate on the topic, I wanted to gain a clear insight on what exactly the vendors and shoppers of First Monday really wanted.  During the February First Monday Trade Days, I visited with random shoppers and vendors who offered their opinion on one simple question, whether they were for or against having beer or alcohol sales on First Monday grounds. I asked a wide range of people, including male and female shoppers and vendors, from ages 21 to 65 and the answer varied from gender and age. Included within this article are their responses.

Question: What is your opinion on adding beer and wine sales at First Monday:

-“Adding the sale of beer or wine would bring more people to First Monday. I would be for it. I see people all the time out on the grounds with it already,” — Jason Ramsey, Vendor, Arbor I

-“I wouldn’t be opposed. It seems like it would be fun.  I wouldn’t say that they have to have it. But, if they need to bring it in, it wouldn’t bother me. If it was late enough in the day, I would probably buy some wine. I could see some of the men sitting and having a beer while the ladies shop, I can see the benefit of that,” – Jeanne Chandler, shopper

-“As a vendor, at this event, it is hard to say. I have done a lot of shows where they do have alcohol and where they do not. It depends on the time of year, clientele and their target audience. From a vendor’s vantage point, the alcohol is sometimes a good thing. When the alcohol flows, the money flows. That is one advantage. But looking at it from a moral view, there is a line there. I have mixed emotions about it. Most of the time when I come across events that have alcohol, they have an artist scheduled to perform or entertainment scheduled.  During the first part of the day, it is family oriented. But, as the evening comes on, the families leave, and the people come out to see the entertainment and buy some wine or beer. I’d say to each their own. I am not opposed to it, if it was governed properly. I don’t think I would be against it. If it is more of a social thing, just a few drinks, I guess I don’t have a problem with it. If they are going to come out here to get drunk, I’d say absolutely not. It needs to be governed. If people have a drink or two, and want to spend some money, great it helps me out. But, I don’t want to see people walking around drunk or intoxicated. – Steve Smith, Vendor, Booth 71, 72

- “This is our first trip here, and we drove down from Arkansas. We like it so far, but I don’t know if I would like seeing alcohol sales. I personally do not like being around people who are drinking. I think I like it the way it is.”-Belinda Ohr, shopper

 

-“I don’t agree to it. We have enough drunks as it is out here. People bring it here anyway. This is a family thing.  I am just saying no to the no to the no. I don’t think it will drive sales out here at all. We have seen kids get hurt before by it. They bring their coolers and everything already. I am not anti-wine, I just don’t want it here. I have seen the ugliness of it and I don’t want to see it here,” -Haley Range, Vendor, Original Pavilion

 “We have been here a few times, and we would be for it. We would buy it if they had it here. We like coming and we drive from College Station. It would be a bonus.”- Shoppers Laura Black and Megan Johnston, College Station.

 

The Canton City Council postponed any decision concerning alcohol sales on First Monday grounds during the Jan. 22 meeting. 

A questionnaire is available on the Facebook page, First Monday Trade Days. The purpose of the questionnaire, according to the site, is to “gain a better understanding on the general opinion of adding alcohol and live entertainment on First Monday grounds during First Monday Trade Days.”

The questionnaire asks questions such as “If served, how will (alcohol) affect your attendance. The questionnaire is anonymous and can be found at, www.Facebook.com/FirstMondayTradeDays. The questionnaire was posted Jan. 29.