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Steven Teverbaugh doesn’t like the term ‘beer garden.’ He feels it’s misleading but, for lack of a better term for the committee’s desire to sell beer at the festival, it will do.

“I think the term ‘beer garden’ is fraught with misnomers,” the Tree City Fall Festival Committee president said. “Some people think it will be the equivalent to a drunken frat party in the middle of Broadway Street. It’s the same as El Reparo or Chili’s serving beer. Essentially, we will be setting up a restaurant in the middle of Broadway.”

He believes the misunderstanding began last year when the committee sought and received approval from the Decatur County Commissioners, only to be confronted with a small yet boisterous group of dissenters. That group’s united voice, he said, caused a great deal of strife to the Fall Festival. One week before the festival, when nearly $3,000 had already been spent on the idea, the garden was pulled by the Commissioners on the morning of Sept. 5, 2006 and, in the evening, they made a futile appeal to the City Council. However, it was too late in the game. The Council felt it’s hands were tied.

Time has passed and, with the Fall Festival approaching, Teverbaugh said last year’s setback was no reason to abandon an idea he felt had much support behind it.

“After the beer garden was defeated last year we learned, through the comments on the Greensburg Daily News Website, a lot of people were disappointed,” Teverbaugh said. “We feel there is a majority who want it.”

As for those who do not want it, he said he is willing to listen to their opposition. However, he has not heard anything to contradict his feeling that the idea would be a lucrative and welcome addition to the festival.

“I haven’t heard one logical reason why not to have it,” Teverbaugh said. “I would go back to the idea of a family restaurant like El Reparo or Chili’s that also serves alcohol. That’s their opinion, though. Every one is entitled to their own opinion.”

Last year the City Council said there may be a liability issue with the garden. This year, the committee is trying to alleviate that fear by purchasing additional insurance. This would lessen the city’s responsibility but not absolve it. However, the issue of liability is not a beer garden exclusive.

“Anytime you hold a festival, they are fraught with liability. Those evil attorneys will sue you for anything,” he, an attorney himself, said with an air of self-deprecating humor.

He said seeing the garden itself would probably lessen the worries of many who stand opposed. The Knights of Columbus, which he noted has a long-standing reputation for doing vast philanthropic work in the community, will run the garden in conjunction with their annual pork chop dinner. Beer will be served on Friday and Saturday only. The tent will be enclosed by a large orange snow fence with one exit and one entrance. At each place, a Knight will man the door, check identification and keep the beer inside the garden. There will be no limit on the beer one person can purchase but, like at a bar, each individual knows when they’ve had enough, he said, and bad behavior will not be tolerated.

“People need to make the judgment call. Anyone acting disorderly will be asked to leave the festival,” he said.

The festival is patrolled by the Greensburg Police Department and the committee often employs off-duty officers to keep the peace, beer garden or no beer garden. Besides, he said, he feels the community can conduct itself orderly and foresees no incidents, especially when its put under the care of the Knights.

“Most people in this community obey the law,” Teverbaugh said. “The Knights are an excellent organization and do quite a lot of community work. I have full faith in them to run this endeavor.”

Of course, this is about making money. Other festivals ,in surrounding areas, have benefited greatly from beer sales. Here, that money would be split evenly between the committee and the Knights. Community organizations would benefit from the extra funds bestowed upon them by the Knights and the committee would put its money back into the festival. Teverbaugh said he wants the festival to grow, to attract nationally known bands and bring a wider audience to Greensburg. That, in turn, would mean more money spent in the community and downtown. For Teverbaugh, it is a win-win situation.

With support behind it and the belief it would be a beneficial addition to the festival, Teverbaugh and the committee approached the City Council in July in the hope of showing detractors how non-threatening the garden would be. While he said he expects some opposition at the August meeting, he hoped the Council would allow them to at least try it. Once the festival is over and the garden successful, Teverbaugh felt it would never be an issue again.

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