The SFPD's Richmond Station permit officer, Francis
Feliciano, was not available to answer questions about this policy
Monday. And at press time San Francisco Police Department spokesman Sergeant Troy Dangerfield was
working the phones to track down an explanation.Suffice to
say, however, that the half-dozen strong cadre of park rangers at
Saturday's event was supplemented by four cops, at least one of whom was
seen patrolling the Tour de Fat grounds shooing away parents with kids from watching the event's on-stage bananana juggling exhibition, playing ring toss, or observing a
"We went to the Tour de Fat like we've done the last two
years. And we took our almost five-year-old daughter to see it like we've done for the past two years. And we were told we couldn't go
in unless our child was in a stroller because of the alchol sales," said San Francisco network consultant Ted Dively. "'Stupid' would be the word I'd use. Yet again, someone's found a way to make it difficult for families to have fun in San Francisco."
James MCLean writes to say he and his kids were enjoying the festival when they were approached by a San Francisco Park Ranger. The bike-mounted officer made a point of following the two-year old and his dad until they were safely out of beer range. After a day shuffling after tiny miscreants with his groin wedged on a bicycle top-tube, we suspect this ranger asked for combat pay:
But the event, which was enclosed by a fence and featured suds stands that only served attendees wearing a special 21-and-over wristband, apparently qualified as a beer garden. Police arrived the morning of the event and declared kids weren't allowed, said Tour de Fat organizer Zack Levis.
"The California department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says no kids can be in a beer garden at all our shows," said Levis. "And we run our events by the book."
John Carr, spokesman for the California department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said that jurisdiction for the state agency might arise if the event's permit specifically prohibited children at the behest of local officials.
"Many times, a local community might say, 'When we do this permit, we would like to limit this to people 21 and over," said Carr, adding that he wasn't familiar with this particular event.So, to local blue laws add a newly enforced dictum that says kids can't watch a childrens' circus if there's a possibility their mom might have a beer in her hand.