As the weather gets warmer, Michigan residents and visitors will begin enjoying festivals, some of which will include alcoholic beverages.
The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) reminds licensees and not-for-profit organizations to plan ahead for the busy outdoor hospitality season including festivals, outside patio parties, street events and beer tents.
This summer, many establishments that are licensed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages will be applying to the MLCC for approval for outdoor service areas and other special permissions required by law in order to satisfy thirsty customers. Similarly, many not-for-profit organizations will be applying for special licenses, often referred to as "one-day licenses," to allow them to host fundraising events that include the service of alcoholic beverages.
Citing the huge number of such requests the MLCC receives each year, MLCC Chairman Andy Deloney urges liquor license holders who plan to apply for temporary or permanent outdoor service, and not-for-profit groups looking to secure special licenses, to plan ahead.
"There is no need to wait to apply," said Deloney. "The further in advance you get your application in, the more assurance you have that we can consider your application in time for your events."
In 2011, from May 1 to Aug. 31, the hottest period of activity for these types of requests, the MLCC processed 3,163 special license applications. According to Commission Rule 436.575, the application for a special license must be received by the Commission no fewer than 10 days before the date of the event, which includes getting the approval of the local unit of government. The special license application form can be found on the MLCC website at www.michigan.gov/lcc along with a checklist and complete directions on how to fill the form out properly.
Establishments that are already licensed to serve alcohol, but do not have the legally-required permission to serve guests in outdoor areas will also find the required application form the MLCC website, and are similarly urged to get completed applications in early.
"Countless businesses and organizations depend on the warm months for outdoor service areas and special events to support their bottom lines," said Deloney. "We understand how important these opportunities are. We want everyone to understand how important it is to apply in advance."
More importantly, the MLCC urges careful focus on the safety of consumers and public health.
"We want all of our citizens and visitors to fully enjoy all that Pure Michigan has to offer this summer," said Deloney. "But we all have an obligation to make sure we all do so safely, so that we can all continue to enjoy our great state."