Mt. Sterling council approves beer garden for Summer Jam

Drivin’ 23 (across the top), Lake Effect (bottom left) and Distorted Silence (bottom right) are the bands scheduled to play in the Hammer Time Pub beer garden during the Mount Sterling Summer Jam Festival June 13-15.

(Posted May 17, 2024)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Hammer Time Pub will once again set up a beer garden for Mount Sterling’s Summer Jam Festival.

Pub owner Deanna Pettit appeared before village council on May 13, requesting permission to locate the beer garden in the street in front of her business for the three days of the festival, June 13-15. Pettit must present council approval to local law enforcement and the Ohio Division of Liquor Control. Council approved her request 5-0.

For the beer garden, Pettit blocks off the area, puts up a tent, posts rules, prohibits underage drinking, cleans the area each night, and staffs the area throughout the festival. She said she has experienced no issues with the beer garden in the past.

She noted that this year is the last year she will be able to host the beer garden without paying for a special permit. During the COVID pandemic, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine suspended permit fees for such outdoor arrangements. The fees will be reinstated next year. Pettit said the permit cost is $750, as set by the Division of Liquor Control.

As for this year, Pettit has booked bands to perform in the beer garden each night of the festival. Drivin’ 23, a hard-driving bluegrass band out of Pickaway County, will play on Thursday night. Lake Effect, a popular Madison County band that plays classic rock, pop, and country music, will take the stage on Friday night. Distorted Silence, a Columbus group that plays originals and rock covers from the 1970s to now, is on the schedule for Saturday.

Hosted by the Mount Sterling Chamber of Commerce, Summer Jam offers a wide variety of entertainment for all ages. Becky Martin, a Chamber member and village council member, said this year’s event includes additional musical entertainment at the town gazebo, rides, games, contests, food, children’s activities, and more. New this year is a Bigfoot hunt and camping gear giveaways. Anyone who would like to serve as a volunteer, sponsor, or contest judge can send an email to

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