Picnic in the Parks Program Allowing Alcohol in Certain Parks Reinstated

The county will reinstate the Picnic in the Parks program allowing visitors to certain parks the right to drink alcoholic beverages, Montgomery Parks officials announced.

The program will be back in effect as of today (Oct. 22).

The original park directive allowing alcohol was enacted on Sept. 24, 2020 and was in effect until May 31, 2021. The directive was renewed May 27 for an additional 12 months and expanded from the original nine parks to 13. 

“While the directive was in effect, people were responsibly enjoying food and alcohol in these parks,” Mike Riley, Montgomery Parks director, said in a press release. “It has been great to see the support from the public and elected officials to bring this program back.”

The directive was suspended on July 1 of this year, when the state lifted the COVID_19 state of emergency. 

“Our parks have helped us get through the pandemic by providing much needed outlets for our physical and mental health,” said Councilmember Evan Glass (D-At Large), who advocated for the program’s return. “The parks system also innovated their services by creating the Picnic in the Park program, which has been hugely popular among residents and small business owners.”

Local parks where visitors can possess and consume alcohol include Acorn Urban Park, Carroll Knolls Local Park, Ellsworth Urban Park, Flower Avenue Urban Park, Jesup Blair Park and Takoma Urban Park.

Photo from Cory Van Horn (Visit Montgomery)

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