Music fans at Jazz in the Park may be allowed to bring their own wine and beer to Cathedral Square Park this summer.
Ditto for River Rhythms.
The State Senate passed a bill, authored by Rep. Leon Young (D-Milwaukee), that would permit patrons of the popular events to carry in their own beverages. Current state law forbids that activity because festival organizers hold Class B liquor licenses.
The new legislation, which passed the State Assembly last summer, would give festival organizers the authority to create their own carry-in beverage policies.
The topic became controversial last year, when Milwaukee Police informed officials from East Town Association, which runs Jazz in the Park, that the carry-in practice was illegal.
"Jazz in the Park and River Rhythms are fantastic events that bring our community together," Young said in a statement. "The confusion surrounding carry-in beverages is unfortunate, and I applaud my colleagues on taking the necessary step to rectify it.
"Organizers of our many popular festivals here in Milwaukee know what works for their events. Their careful and thoughtful planning allowed these events to continue incident-free for years. We should allow them to decide whether patrons can carry-in alcoholic beverages."
Gov. Jim Doyle must sign the bill into law in order for patrons to resume their carry-in practices.