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‘Booze on the beach’ now permanent in Penticton, B.C.

Feel like having a beer on the beach in Penticton? In mid-February?

You can do that now.

On Tuesday, city council upgraded a bylaw regarding the public consumption of alcohol at select parks and beaches. The upgrades included changing it to year-round instead of just during tourist season.

Colloquially known as ‘booze on the beach,’ the Responsible Liquor Consumption in Designated Public Places bylaw was first introduced in 2020 as a way to support the alcohol industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The initial year was very positively received and continued for 2021 and 2022 as pilot years,” Blake Laven, the city’s director of development services, told city council.

“And similarly, in both those years, the program was very well received with few negative incidents.”

Laven added that the program has “strong branding” and “plays off the Love Local theme.”

“It differentiates Penticton from other Okanagan destinations. While there are some communities in the province that have similar programs, Penticton is the only Okanagan community currently doing this.”

City staff also suggested expanding the area and slightly increasing the overall hours from eight to nine, with council agreeing to change the end time to 9 p.m., up from 8 p.m.

Council agreed to all of the suggestions, with the bylaw being unanimously passed.

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