More alcohol vendors approved for Holyoke St. Patrick's Road Race despite police concerns – MassLive.com

HOLYOKE — Despite concerns raised by police, the License Board at City Hall Wednesday approved nine licenses for vendors to sell alcohol during the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race Saturday.

Thousands of people pour into downtown for the race, which precedes by a day the massive Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade on Sunday.

Capt. Manuel Febo told the License Board he was unaware that alcohol vendor locations would be approved over to 630 Dwight St. or that additional tents would be permitted along High Street beyond the usual half-dozen of previous years.

“This has really caught me off guard tonight because I didn’t know there was going to be different tents in different areas. That’s my struggle,” Febo said.

“Trust me, you can have your best intentions, but they’re not going to stay in the tent…They’re going to wander around. It’s a big wander around day,” he said.

Expanding the area to Chestnut and Dwight streets might not seem so large an addition, but a lot of people can fit into such areas, he said.

“That spreads my resources really thin,” Febo said.

Local bar proprietors such as Patrick Brennan of Brennan’s Place, 173 High St., David Wielgosz, of Francie’s Tavern, 108 Maple St. and Tom “Red” Butler of The Clover Pub, 104 High St., questioned why the board was permitting additional alcohol vendors during the road race. 

It didn’t make sense to allow more sellers of alcohol during the road race when police and city officials have told bar owners that they wanted to enforce more control over the event, Brennan said.

“We want to work with you folks,” Brennan said.

New conditions this year require that all vendors who will be selling alcohol during the road race provide drinks in plastic cups, instead of glass or aluminum bottles or cans, and

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