Town Square

Minors banned from First Wednesday beer garden

Original post made on Aug 15, 2008

People wanting to knock back a beer or sip a glass of wine while listening to The Houserockers band during the August First Wednesday Street Party may have noticed a change to the Beer and Wine Garden. Starting with the party on Aug. 6, police have limited minors from entering the area.
The same rules will stand at the last First Wednesday Street Party of the season, coming up Sept. 3.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 15, 2008, 11:04 AM


Posted by Vicki LaBarge, a resident of Mission Park
on Aug 15, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Dear Editor, I would like to express my disappointment in the police department for not allowing children into the beer and wine garden during First Wednesdays. I have taken my children and grandchildren to First Wednesdays and always enjoy a light dinner with them in the wine and beer garden. The children have always behaved and enjoyed the music and the majority of adults have behaved and enjoyed the music.

It would seem that at the very first incident the police use a shotgun effect rather than a rifle, punishing all instead of the just the offenders.

I happened to locate Jennifer Hosterman downtown that evening and questioned her about the change. She indicated to me that it was the first she had heard of it; which I found interesting to say the least.

Pleasanton used to have fun events downtown but for some reason everytime beer or wine is involved our police feel they have to control us. I don't see the same issue with our neighboring cities of Livermore or Danville (the only two other cities with downtowns similar to ours). For some reason their police departments seem to be able to manage beer and wine events served at outdoor venues.

Perhaps it's time to quesiton the ability of our police department in their decision making processes and of our majors understanding of what is taking place in this city.

My family (including grandchildren) will no longer attend First Wednesdays in downtown, but I might change my choice of venues to downtown Livermore.

Vicki LaBarge
25 year Pleasanton resident

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 15, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I agree with Vicki. Go see my post about this as a response to the article. The initiating trouble makers were "early 20's" who handed beer to the teens. So, all kids with families as well as all teens are banned. But the "early 20's" have free rein to come again whenever....

Seems somebody has gotten things upside-down! Starts with the decision-making of the downtown association and progresses to city officials and what makes life happy for the bureaucrats.

Posted by Nicki, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 15, 2008 at 11:02 pm

We had the same experience with our two children, who by the way, love to dance in front of the bands. I found the Mayor who told me that she didn't know about this, but she got on her cell and called the police commander right away. They told her that it was a change made because last month the crowd was out of control. The police are going to think about making changes that will add safety to all of us, and to underaged drinkers. I think that makes sense. I hope August is better. My family wants to be able to enjoy the "Pleasanton" experience!

Posted by 20 something, a resident of West of Foothill
on Aug 16, 2008 at 2:01 am

The funniest part of these comments is reading that hosterman did not know about this -- must have been too busy drafting legislation to ban war, pestilence and nuclear bombs from Pleasanton. If we had a mayor who acted like a mayor, she might have been on top of this. Just ban everyone then the police will have nothing to do. Oh yeah, hosterman has made the city so safe that we don't need them anyway. Tell that to the employees in the bank that was just robbed. Yeah, no crime on hosterman's watch.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 16, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Frank's post makes total sense! Why not ban minors at all restaurants because there is drinking there?! Sounds like the police are trying to make it easier for themselves. Punish the perps, not the families.

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm

the problem is fake id's and volunteer checking the id's and issuing tickets. plus the tickets that fall on the ground. i've been there for a few of these events. and children don't belong. the concert in the park is a more family oriented event. the beer and wine gardens is crammed. especially when you have teenagers and younger running around unsupervised. bumping into people as they run by, and spilling peoples drinks. it is definately a fun event for adults of legal drinking age. i don't think the problem ever was supervised children with there parents. but mainly high school kids looking to party, in an open environment, where people are too busy and posibly intoxicated to notice. the police around pleasanton are very strict, but all it would take is one kid to get alchohol poisioning and the whole thing would probably get shut down by "concerned citizens", pushing the city and polkice for results. it's a measure to ensure the right to enjoy this event for adults who can consume the beer and wine. do you let children into a bar that doesn't serve food. no.....i saw no food being served within the fences. therefor it is a event for music and relaxing. not necessarily for children and dinner. though some like taking there kids out while have a few drinks, others probably don't appreciate it, especially when people make comments like can you put that out, or watch your language around my children. when the real question is why bring your children into a drinking event. it's like have kids at a winery going tasting. why put them there. unfortunately there are certain circumstances and situations where children do not belong.

resident of pleasanton 26 years

Posted by Fred, a resident of Nolan Farms
on Aug 22, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Drinking event??? Wow. The city should get beer bongs and do keg stand contests and really making it a drinking event or maybe we all move to chico. Pleasanton is family city and the events are for the residents of Pleasanton. If you want to have a drinking event go to a bar or throw a KEGGGER at your house. If everyone acted responsibly we would not have this issue. Always a good idea to punish the people who are not part of the problem.

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm

kids don't belong were only alchohol is served, bottom line. maybe if they were bbq ing and serving food inside the small parking lot then they'd have a reason. yes fred if it's called the beer and wine gardens then it is a drinking event. just like if they weere serving corn it would be the maze festival. or the old cars is the good guys car show. the atmosphere has something to do with the name. who'd figure. the structure for the event is all wrong, i have no problem with kids. shoot i have one, but i don't cram her in a small parking lot with 100's of people would need to be in a larger area. with food booths, and others minor friendly activities. to me it looks like only adult friendly activities. the only think not involving consumption is the music which traditionally helps encourage the consumption of ..................oh yeah beer and wine. hence the name. good job ppd. they are doing there job. don't put children in harms way. being surrounded by drinkers who don't look to see if they are stepping on children. and probably don't at least at that moment care.

Posted by fred, a resident of Nolan Farms
on Aug 26, 2008 at 6:01 am

Great call Aaron. Kids no where there is alcohol. No kids in resturants, not kids at sporting events, no kids at concert in the parrk. Seems like the ADULTS at concerts at the park are able to drink and listen to music with kids there. Maybe if the people drinking were looking for everyone to have a good time and not just trying to get drunk and start fights all the residents or pleasanton could attend a city function. If you want to listen to music and get drunk and not worry where you are walking (sounds smart) go to a club not a city event. Also think the jist of article and posts are that there must be away we can make everyone happy. If you are under 21 and dont have a wrist band on you have to leave after first set of the band. Usually happens around 7-7:30 when most kids need to go to bed anyway. Lets try and think of a way to make all residents happy not just ban a certain group due to the actions of another group.

Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of Valley Trails
on Aug 26, 2008 at 9:42 am

SLOW DOWN FRED.... I believe you missed the WHOLE point by Aaron. The event does NOT serve food (like restuarants), there is no side attraction (like a sporting event)...He said that plain and simply, and you respond like your un-informed. Have YOU been drinking?? Someone said it earlier, its not the reponsible parent who watches their children and dances with their toddlers.... its the hoards of 10-16 year olds that are under NO supervison. Because of them, there needs to be a change. Some might say to deal with the teens indivisually...but thats not the Pleasanton Police Departments job, the parents SHOULD have handled it. But they didn't.... now everyones crying over spilt milk.....
Just to weight in on the drinking issue... I believe its IRRESPONSIBLE for parents to bring their children to such an event and drink alcohol....Its not OK to have a few drinks and drive or walk home. Alcohol slows your response time, so you can't react normally. It also impairs your decisions.... and it makes some of you act like A-holes.... Find a new way to enjoy your life....

Posted by commonsenseBob, a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Aug 26, 2008 at 9:51 am

Thank goodness that individuals like Vicki (please go to Livermore), Frank, and Stacey are not in charge of anything important. Stop your whining and get in touch with reality. Cheers to the rest of you!

Posted by nancy, a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2008 at 10:55 am

I live in Maine and we also struggle with whether to include beer gardens at family oriented public events. For me, the bottom line is about children. I like to think about the message that we are sending as a community to our youth when we include alcohol in a community event. Having fun and time together is about just that. Fun does not need to include alcohol. I believe that youth may learn more about responsible drinking while seated together in a setting that has controlled access to alcohol and servers that have training to recognize an underage or intoxicated patron. I respect your enforcement community and the awesome responsibility that they have in preventing underage drinking and possible injury. I would worry more if they turned away and shirked their responsiblity. If you want to show youth that you care about them... support your local enforcement community and let them know that you appreciate them being proactive instead of having to react when a more serious event happens in your community. Good luck and God bless. Stay safe!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 26, 2008 at 12:16 pm


Ever been to Oktoberfest? What you may consider "reality" is unique to each individual and community. So who's reality do you think I'm supposed to get in touch with? Your own reality sounds stuffy.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 26, 2008 at 12:23 pm

I think I should add that Oktoberfest does have special rules meant to protect children at the event. But children are certainly not banned and that's one of the largest drinking orgies around!

Posted by commonsenseBob, a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Aug 26, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Stacey, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think Pleasanton is trying to host an Oktoberfest or a "drinking orgie", so your comments are irrelevant. I'll add comments from a message I posted on another thread about this topic, since you obviously don't get it:

Is there an area of our lives where the many have not suffered due to the actions of the few?? This is no exception, and the beer garden wasn't "designed" for kids in the first place. The only thing predictable about this situation is that someone will eventually get hurt in a rowdy crowd of 5000 people, and people like you, Frank, and Vicki will be first in line, crying "this is out of control!" and asking "why wasn't something done to prevent this!?". Nancy's comments above are right on track.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 26, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Interesting, now you presume to know what I'm going to "cry" in the future!

How exactly is comparison with the largest beer garden event on the planet irrelevant? It is highly relevant! There's children, adults, and alcohol all in the same setting. Pleasanton has hosted an Oktoberfest just this past fall.

And yes, Nancy is right. Children learn responsible behavior when they have a chance to practice and observe it in a controlled environment. So design the beer garden at First Wednesday appropriately. Just because it wasn't done in the first place doesn't mean it has to remain that way. How about only allowing minors into the area if they are accompanied by a parent? That would prevent the "20 somethings" from accompanying the underage drinkers. Or (as I suggested in the other thread) roping off the drinking area so that it is separate from the music? But you appear to not have read that suggestion, instead latching onto your own presumptions about other posters.

Pleasanton has a serious drinking problem. There are parents who allow drinking parties at their house with underage drinkers, don't notify other parents of it, and don't take keys. Don't pretend it doesn't happen because I grew up here and have experienced it personally. It is my opinion that it would be better to promote responsible social drinking at First Wednesday than to continue to allow the problem to be hidden by banning children from the beer garden. Many also suffer through the inaction of the few.

BTW, the Round Table parking lot doesn't hold 5000 people.

Posted by FlyontheWall, a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Can I ask Stacey...(or any others)....How anybody SUFFERS from banning children from an adult area? Can't you wait till the kids go to bed before you knock back that bottle of Zinfandel. Maybe the event is intended for the parents to relax and have a drink while the kids are being looked after by responsible...someone NOT DRINKING. Parents shouldn't bring their kids to an event like this. Children should stroll around flower gardens, NOT beer gardens. Anybody that says different is the kind of person that is on their 4th glass of wine and has no idea where their kids are off too...forget "drink responsibly"....why don't you try "parent responsibly"...

Posted by Jeff, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 26, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Flyonthewall/Aaron do we agree that this a community event. Tents booths, music set up for the community to come and see. I hope we can agree on that. Then I would say a much better answer would be to get rid of the beer/wine. If you want to have a beer go to one of the local bars. That way anyone who wants to listen to the music can. Then you can come and the parents and children above can come too. Seems to me the cause of the problem is the beer/wine not the kids. I would to venture to say a lot of the people above who dont think kids should be there would not attend if not for the beer/wine. I like to drink as much as the next guy but the most logical answer is to get rid of the beer or move it away from the music.

Posted by commonsenseBob, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Aug 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Okay Stacey, I'll explain it to you. Oktoberfest IS a beer fest. The Wednesday night street party is NOT MEANT to be a beer fest, so the controls, the security, and the preparations are NOT the same. The Wednesday night party IS QUICKLY BECOMING a beer fest WITHOUT BENEFIT OF THE SAME CONTROLS AND SECURITY AS OKTOBERFEST. Therefore, without proper controls and security, it is not prudent to have children in the beer garden!

Great idea, rope off the beer garden so it is separate from the music? Is there room for that? NO! Will everyone be happy with that? NO! How do you divide the space? Will that fix the problem? NO! I read your pie-in-the-sky proposal, but it didn't even warrant comment.

"Pleasanton has a serious drinking problem." Well, thank you for that diagnosis, doctor, I'm sure that was based thorough and empirical research that you conducted while growing up here. So responsible social drinking is the key - what the heck, let's just give them a beer since they're in the beer garden! Or, if Pleasanton has a serious drinking problem, in the interest of our community, shouldn't we get rid of the beer garden altogether?? You're grasping at straws - your assertions are off on tangents not even remotely associated with the bottom line, which is the fact that this event has become too big to remain as simple and safe as we would all like it, so it HAS to change. As it does, there will always be people like you complaining to anyone who will listen about how things should stay the same, even when that is no longer reasonable. It's that simple.

Posted by will, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Aug 26, 2008 at 7:12 pm

I agree Bob there has to be a change. Times are changing and Pleasanton is no longer a sleepy town. I think the reason they are not allowing kids anymore is that there was a fight that broke out and some underage drinkers involved lets not lose sight of that. It was not because some kid got hurt by a person sipping on wine. I have attended for many years and I do not think the music area was intended to turn into the event it has become. That is why they still have volunteers checking IDs and giving drink tickets. If the city wants to turn this into a drinking/concert like event then no one under 21 should be allowed and they need to have more police and real bouncers/police checking ids. If they keep it the way it is but dont let under 21 kids in then I still think you will still have fights and issues. My feeling is the city does not want to spend money on more police and real id checkers. Lets keep in mind what caused the problem. People drinking to much, under age drinkers lets find a way to control that. If we cant then maybe we need to get rid of the beer.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 26, 2008 at 7:58 pm

I have no idea where Bob gets the idea that I'm arguing for things to stay the same. I guess he's not really reading what I'm writing. Go read the other thread at Web Link because apparently the point being suggested by Frank and seconded by me is being missed, which is that kids are not the problem so why are they being banned?

Bob wrote: "The Wednesday night party IS QUICKLY BECOMING a beer fest WITHOUT BENEFIT OF THE SAME CONTROLS AND SECURITY AS OKTOBERFEST. Therefore, without proper controls and security, it is not prudent to have children in the beer garden!"

Exactly! Now you're getting it! So implement them instead of banning the children. The bottom line is that the PPD and the PDA are trying to find an easy way out that ends up disappointing a large proportion of attendees to First Wednesday (families with children). They instead should be targeting the problem at the source and implement practices that would limit the activity of the actual perpetrators because apparently the PDA wants to continue to serve alcohol at this event. But Bob thinks I'm arguing for things to stay the same. Go figure!

Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of Valley Trails
on Aug 27, 2008 at 9:25 am

Will...stay outta the way of Stacey and Bob!! Jeb is coming to shut down the topic down ANY SECOND....Hurry Guys....

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 27, 2008 at 2:05 pm


you commented on my post saying what about octoberfest? well i agree with bob. there not doing a octoberfest in pleasanton. if they were it'd would have cultural food, i'm sure. some bratworst at least. i am 1 generation american, my parents are deutch. ( german ) in germany kids can legally drink at 16, and most are cultured to drink earlier. unles that is what you want here, don't bring kids around those situations. lets see, if you watch your parents do something you might think it's ok. hence underage drinking. i haven't been on here in a long time and the main one posting comments on here is you. so i'd say bob is correct saying you'd probably be the first one to cry about something. cause you are soo concerned with not much else going on. bottom line is it is common sense. if no food is served no kids allowed. the concert in the park should be allowed either by state law, you are not allowed to drink in public. the park is public. i go with my child and enjoy it for the music and she can play. but i don't drink there. it wouldn't be responsible to drink around her, and then try to make it home, as hundreds of people are intoxicated getting in there cars and driving off. i saw one table with 5 people and 10 empty bottles of wine next to them. is that responsible, or good for their kids. no. and as people walk around downtown with glasses of wine and getting in there car. i think you might just be upset cause now at the beer gardens you can't get intoxicated around your children.....

and fred maybe some different regulations could be done. but for now this is what it is. join the committee and help with the regulations. or even possible have a area for minors. the segragation of minors is the way it should be at these events.

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm

and there is still plenty of activities for kids on main st. to enjoy the first wednesday street fair. plenty. you just can't drink on the st. worries for me. i'll go behind the fence and avoid corrupting children with people drinking. and enjoy some nice sober events with my daughter!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 27, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Aaron, you want common sense? What is more full of common sense than the police enforcing the law and going after the perpetrators?

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 2, 2008 at 5:39 pm

given that this is a perfect world and we can see everything at all times right stacey. i don't understand why they were ever included in the festivities. they are not 21 and aren't allowed. quick question, are children allowed at the sunshine when they stop serving food, at redcoats, or are the ever allowed in the popi lounge? let's go to livermore. the blue bar doesn't allow kids either. why they don't serve food. if there were a designated spot for minors, then that would be acceptable.

commom sense is the ability to make sensible decisions. to me it seems sensible to avoid the problem in the first place. without having to chase "criminals/ lawbreakers". avoidance is the best choice.
ex. police set up dui checkpoints to avoid dui related deaths accidents and injuries. if they were to get in a high speed chase with every drunk driver than that would cause more damage and possible casualties. this is simply a precautionary messure. and makes perfect sense. shoot.....i'd even go a step further and have a breathalyzer in all vehicles so no-one can drive intoxicated. now that would be common sense. but as i can see most people think they are always right though people views always differ from situation to situation.

if you avoid putting a child in the car with a drunk driver, isn't that common sense, or even logic. this is very similar. no food is served no kids allowed. they really have no reason to be at that part of the event.

Posted by joe, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Sep 5, 2008 at 7:22 am

Aaron are there tables there for people to get food and sit down to eat? Yes. The area was intended for people to be able to get food, a beer, and sit down and listen to music. You keep comparing the area to a bar. BARS ARE NOT CITY RUN EVENTS. That is what you are missing. You also seem to not have a answer to why a better answer would be to get rid of the beer all together. Why does there need to be beer? If you want to have a beer go into ROund Table or go across the street to Past Times.

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 11, 2008 at 1:39 pm

are there servers joe? table service? they have benches and tables at bars, and concerts that doesn't meen they serve it. of course pleasanton doesn't run a bar. that'd be terrible for all parties. i am partial to both sides. i like to take my daughter to the st fair. but don't bring her in there on those nights. but i also like to partake with friends and neighbors with the beer and wine. it is good times either way.i think what people are missing is the title. the "beer and wine garden", so that's what you should expect. people drinking beer and wine. ok, so do you go to ballgame to enjoy the $6 dollar hotdog? of course not you go for the game. let's go to the shoe store for a tv. this doesn't make sense. if a sign says no adult movies are you bringing your kids in. doubtfully. it is the beer and wine garden, not the quad of a high school where people gather to eat the food carried in. no profit there. the only thing paying for the event is the beer and wine. so if you truelly enjoy the music you should really stop complaining before the city shuts it down. cause next thing you know the music in the parks will be gone. one day you'll probably find a drunk high school kid running around the park. then no more wine for all those who crowd at 7am to lay down blankets. more family events hosted by the city, which are fun as long as all parties; parents, children, adults, fallow the rules. it seems people are so intuned to there own beliefs only, and compain about everything else. life isn't fair and those who complain about how unfair it is are those who get passed up. so keep whining about the rules. fallow the rules and don't complain. it's worse then talking to kids when adults who spend there whole lives thinking they're right get told no. you are wrong. the rules are................ fallow them.