Alcohol Control at Outdoor Events

Planning Prevents Alcohol Misuse

In Wisconsin, bona fide organizations along with fraternal and veterans groups may obtain temporary licenses to sell beer and wine – often called “Picnic Licenses”.  Well organized and operated festivals often implement alcohol sales policies that minimize the chances of alcohol related problems and maximize the fun for the entire community. 

The documents below provide both planning guidance and the tools to evaluate how alcohol is sold and served at events.  Learn how one community group in LaCrosse is working with over 20 local festivals to identify and implement good alcohol serving policies.

Outdoor Event Planning Checklist 

The planning checklist helps develop plans to sell and serve alcohol safely, including the policies that prevent the alcohol-related problems associated with beer tents and outdoor events.   [Review the the Festival Planning Checklist]

La Crosse Festival Project

The La Crosse Changing the Culture of Risky Drinking Behavior Coalition wants to improve the alcohol sales policy at La Crosse area festivals and events.  The Coalition uses an independent assessment of serving practices, discussion and repeat observation to assess improvement in alcohol serving practices.  [Read about the La Crosse Festival Project]

Tools to Assess Alcohol Sales at Community Festivals & Outdoor Events

Instructions:  An anonymous survey of local outdoor festivals and celebrations provides a “snap shot” of alcohol control, allowing organizers to see the current practices and the policies that have been adopted but rarely enforced.  When comparing the alcohol policies at more than one event, a consistent scoring system allows you to compare events.  [How to conduct a festival assessment]

Assessment Tool:  The observation form used by teams of observers to rate festivals on 12 policies that can reduce alcohol related problems at outdoor festivals and events.  [Four page assessment tool]

Festival Assessment Scoring:  Use the two page scoring matrix to calculate the numerical score for each festival observed.  [Score the assessment]

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