The Langdon Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC) is announcing a new protocol for alcohol consumption at the Rendezvous Region Music Fest being held July 19-21. After working with the Cavalier County Behavior and Mental Health Task Force, alcohol will be allowed in designated areas to those who have presented a valid ID and received a special wristband denoting their legal drinking age.
By Melissa Anderson
To accomplish this task quickly, kiosks with ID scanners will be set up in close proximity to the entrance areas to the concerts being held on Saturday, June 20 at Boyd Block Plaza. Those over 21 will need the additional, free wristband to consume alcohol at the event. Once they have the wristband it can be used to verify age to purchase alcohol on Main Street alcohol establishments quickly and give the individual the ability to carry alcohol purchased from Main Street alcohol establishments into the event.
“The benefit of wristbanding is it takes the burden of carding off of servers who are already over burdened with serving, so they can focus on alcohol service and not over serving. It also makes it easier for security who come from outside of the community to identify who is of age and who is not,” Steph Welsh, of Cavalier County Public Health District and the Cavalier County Behavior and Mental Task Force, explained.
The Behavior and Mental Task Force along with the Cavalier County Public Health District have been working to find the best solutions to make alcohol consumption at special events like Music Fest safer and the event more family-friendly as a whole. At the chamber meeting Welsh informed those in attendance that alcohol is far and away the most prevalent substance of misuse in our communities and the state of ND as a whole. Community events and festivals in particular are noted to be high-risk times for both underage drinking and adult binge drinking. Only clear cups will be allowed for beverages.
“Wristbanding is not perfect by any means. In general, just having those preventative things in place brings down the risk of minors attempting to buy. If minors know that the scrutiny is a little higher, in general, it’s a good deterrent,” Welsh said.
Volunteers will be enlisted to assist at the ID kiosks with the scanning of IDs. Cavalier County Deputy Paul Podhradsky explained that to expedite the process, more than one kiosk will be in place to verify age and give the additional alcohol wristband to those who choose to consume alcohol at the event on Main Street.
“It will be right when you walk in, and we are hoping to have three [scanners] at each one. There will be three ProDog security present and two deputies will be downtown the whole time and one special deputy,” Podhradsky said.
This effort has been put in place after rumors spread before last year’s Music Fest that alcohol would not be allowed. LACC Executive Director Barb Mehlhoff places the poor turnout to the 2018 event on this. The ability to have a more reliable method of ID verification for the event is thanks to the efforts of the Cavalier County Sheriff’s Department and Public Health in assisting the LACC in having ID kiosks to combat underage drinking and enforcement.
“Music Fest is truly a community event. The community gains a lot from it, and it takes a lot of volunteers and people that are willing to work together to make these things happen,” Mehlhoff said.
If you are interested in volunteering to assist with the ID kiosks, volunteers need to be over 21 years of age and willing to be at the booth for a 2-3 hour shift. The Sheriff’s Department will do training on how to run the ID scanner. The number of volunteers needed will depend on the length of shifts each person wants. Volunteers will also be provided with wristbands for the event. Please contact Steph Welsh at Cavalier County Public Health at 701-256-2402.