Booze ban eyed for Joe Cain Day
Organizers of Nevada City’s annual Joe Cain Day procession are considering pulling the plug if open alcohol containers are allowed at the next event.
The local chapter of the Joe Cain Society, which honors a Confederate soldier bent on returning Mardi Gras traditions to a war-weary Mobile, Ala., citizenry, is asking the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce to back a ban on open alcohol containers during the procession along Broad Street.
Joe Cain organizers don’t want a repeat of last February’s event, when police arrested 14 for drunkenness and other offenses. A Nevada City police officer suffered minor injuries in a melee.
The chamber generally represents event organizers in seeking the necessary permits from the city.
“Last year’s procession did not go the way the Joe Cain Society wanted it to,” said Ruth Poulter, who was president of the society during last year’s event. “We feel the procession is for children and is a family event, and we’re not sure that happened last year. There were a few people with alcohol that created a problem.”
If alcohol is allowed during the procession, Poulter said the society could be forced to shut down the cavalcade of marchers, politicians, performers and bead-throwers.
“If the chamber forces us to have open containers, we will cancel Joe Cain,” Poulter said.
Chamber member Greg Cook said having a Joe Cain procession without open containers “makes sense,” at least for one year.
“It’s worth a shot that we try a procession without alcohol. I’d like to keep (alcohol) at the event, but if not having (open containers) makes the event safer, we should try it,” he said.
Nevada City Police Chief Lou Trovato said he hadn’t been contacted about removing the open-container provision.
Chamber executive manager Cathy Whittlesey said canceling the parade would put a serious dent in Nevada City’s tourism income.
As for the bottle battle, Whittlesey said she hopes to reach a resolution soon.
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce meeting to discuss Joe Cain preparations
WHEN:5:30 p.m., Monday.
WHERE:Nevada City City Hall, 317 Broad St.
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