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A grown-up party

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Orlando held its first adult festival last weekend, where folks who didn't have to pay admission or wear cheesy wristbands were actually allowed to walk up and down the streets with a beer -- yes, an open container -- in hand.

For the March 4 Latin-influenced Festival Miller Lite, 25,000 people lined downtown to drink, dance and watch performers. And surprise, surprise: Despite the relaxed alcohol restrictions, the city didn't have any real disturbances. Police reported only one arrest and a few "minor problems," says OPD spokesman Orlando Rolon. "Typical stuff."

Festivalgoers can thank promoters for their good time -- and for the chance to drink without being shepherded off like lepers into a designated "drinking area." Acknowledging that the city requires alcoholic-beverage sales to be made within an enclosed area, promoters asked the City Council to fence off Orange Avenue from Livingston to Concord, thus giving people the right to walk about freely.

Who knows? Maybe the city will again treat us like adults the next time a festival is held.


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