Maryland

Montgomery Parks Reinstates Program Allowing Alcohol on Some Park Grounds

The Picnic in the Park program allows park visitors who are 21-years-old or older to responsibly consume alcohol outdoors.

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Montgomery Parks will reinstate their Picnic in the Park program, which allows visitors to consume alcohol in 13 parks in the county, starting on Oct. 22.

The Picnic in the Park program has been hugely popular among residents and small business owners in the area—allowing residents to consume a glass of wine or beer outdoors on a nice day.

“Our parks have helped us get through the pandemic by providing much needed outlets for our physical and mental health,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass.

Montgomery Parks had initially implemented the program on Sept. 24, 2020. The program allowed visitors to consume and posses alcohol in nine Montgomery parks.

The initiative was set to last until May 31, 2021, but on May 27, the directive extended and renewed the program to continue an additional 12 months and extended it to four more parks.

The temporary directive was suspended on July 1 when Maryland issued an end to their COVID-19 State of Emergency.  

Now, Montgomery Parks has lifted the suspension allowing park visitors, who are 21 years of age or older, to responsibly consume during the parks operating hours.

“While the directive was in effect, people were responsibly enjoying food and alcohol in these parks,” said Montgomery Parks Director Mike Riley. 

“It has been great to see the support from the public and elected officials to bring this program back.” 

Park police will continue to ensure all laws and park rules are being followed. As part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Montgomery Park says its top priority is always the safety of its patrons, staff and volunteers.

“We encourage people to gather with their friends and families in our parks for birthdays, barbecues, and other events, and this program is part of that effort,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson, who serves as the council’s lead on parks.

Information about the program and the 13 parks where alcohol is permitted can be found here.