As the weather gets warmer, beach days are getting closer, but starting this summer, the rules about booze are changing at one popular beach in Wellfleet.
Beachgoers will be able to put their feet in the sand, but they will not be able to have an alcoholic drink in their hands at Cahoon Hollow Beach. After countless issues involving large crowds, public drinking and disorderly conduct, town officials have decided last call is coming.
“It is a public safety issue. We don’t want it to happen. We want to prevent it,” Suzanne Grout Thomas, Wellfleet’s director of community services said
The ban on open containers has always been in place on the part of the beach Wellfleet owns, but it was hard to enforce because the rest of the beach owned by the Cape Cod National Seashore did not have a ban. Starting May 20, those rules will change and the ban will be in place on all parts of the beach until September 10.
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“This way there won’t be a game like I’m standing here on seashore property with an open container and you can’t do anything about it,” Grout Thomas said.
Alcoholic beverages can still be served at the Beachcomber bar and restaurant, which is just steps away from the beach itself. The restaurant did post on social media encouraging the town to put the ban on hold to allow for more study.
At the beach on Friday, opinions were mixed.
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“That’s a lousy, lousy thing to do particularly out here. They shouldn’t have an all out ban,” beachgoer Robert Werme said.
“When you go to the beach, you want to experience quiet and nature, not a bunch of people partying,” Bill Skillman, another beachgoer said.
Even those who do not agree with the ban could face a fine if they violate it. Town officials said seashore rangers will work closely with Wellfleet police to patrol the beach. They said the first summer will be more about education than strict enforcement and they will assess how it worked at the end of the season.
“I don’t want Wellfleet to be known as the place that has an anti-fun bylaw. I really don’t, but there’s a lot of people there and they all need to be aware,” Grout Thomas said.
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