Changes for Tulip Festival – Good or Bad?
In case you haven’t heard already, this year’s Tulip Festival in Albany’s Washington Park is going to be much different than previous years — all thanks to some out of control college students who decided to pretend they were Irish on Albany’s St. Patty’s, parade day.
Mayor Jerry Jennings announced yesterday new rules on this year’s festival. Most of the new rules pertain to the consumption of alcohol, but for a complete listing of the rules, you can click on Tulip Fest. But what is really most important to understand is why the City of Albany and the Mayor have decided to change things around a bit.
After the havoc that broke loose the day of the St. Patrick’s Day parade here in Albany (March 12th, 2011), the city doesn’t want another opportunity for things to get out of hand. I’m sorry — aren’t college kids busy getting ready for important things, like finals? Why do the rest of us responsible adults need to be penalized for something teenagers took too far? The St. Patrick’s Day parade and the Tulip Festival have both been going on for many years in Albany and just because of this most recent out of control instance, the rest of us festival goers get punished. While I like looking at tulips, I’ve gone to Tulip Festival in the past to have fun and enjoy myself outdoors. Not spend all afternoon in a “beer garden.” (Let’s call it what it really is — a big vinyl tent you can’t see anything out of.)
While Tulip Festival is an enjoyable, outside event in the park, involving lots of music and people, it should not be a publicized effort by the city to show people control. Even though Mayor Jennings said, “It’s something we’ve looked at for a couple of years,” and is in no way a reaction to the so-called “kegs and eggs” fiasco, let’s call it what it really is. The city just doesn’t want more bad publicity.
As far as whether I’ll be attending Tulip Festival this year or not, is still undecided. The United States has bestowed upon me to be a designated, responsible adult when it comes to consuming alcohol and I don’t see how putting everyone in a beer tent couldn’t also create problems. How can I enjoy what’s going on at the main stage if my friends and I are being corraled into the beer garden like cattle. Furthermore, how am I going to enjoy the tulips if I can’t wander around Washington Park?
How do you feel about the new rules? Are you still planning on going now that you know the new restrictions?