The annual homecoming celebration is back in Grove City and so is the beer.
At the June 2 Grove City Council meeting, council unanimously voted to waive city rules and allow beer sales for the homecoming on July 25. Council also waived the rules of council to allow beer at the annual alumni softball tournament on July 26 and 27 at Fryer Park.
Kim Conrad, director of Grove City Parks and Recreation explained that this is the first time in about four years the city has sponsored the traditional homecoming celebration on Town Center streets. She said in 2004, council passed an ordinance that prohibited alcohol sales in the downtown area. After that, the turnout for the homecoming declined.
"It just wasn’t cost effective to close the streets," Conrad said. "We just made it part of our Summer Sizzler."
For the past few years, the city has held downtown events that coincide with the softball tournament but this is the first year there is the traditional street party with a band and closed streets.
Council has waived its open container law for designated areas. Council President Ted Berry said it is illegal to take alcohol into or out of the designated zone.
Grove City Mayor Ike Stage said when beer sales were not allowed, residents would bring it in through coolers. He said the city lost control.
"It was out there, we might as well acknowledge it and try to control it," he noted.
Council member Larry Corbin said, "We brought the softball tournament back, it’s important we don’t destroy it."
Police Chief Joe Wise said officers will be on hand to make sure the number of issues are limited.
In other news
•The city is working on the acquisition of approximately 8.7 acres to expand Windsor Park.
The city wants to expand about 26 acres of the park to add a shelter house, additional amenities and possibly a new baseball diamond.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for the city to expand Windsor Park," said council member Gregory Grinch. "It is a real asset to the city."
Windsor Park is the oldest community park in Grove City.
•The city will hold its first "movie night" on June 27 at approximately 9 p.m in the grassy area behind City Hall. Residents voted and chose to view "Bee Movie."
On Aug. 16, the city plans to air "Back to the Future."