Carbondale councilmen consider alcohol along SIU Homecoming para - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Carbondale councilmen consider alcohol along SIU Homecoming parade route

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Alcohol may be allowed at the SIU homecoming parade this year.

City councilmen will likely consider a proposal this month amending the city's liquor ordinance to allow drinking along the parade route.

At SIU homecoming parades in the past, dozens of people were allowed on or around the floats, but after a student got hurt on a float last year SIU plans to put limits in place.

Carly James, assistant director of Student Center Programs at SIU, said 25 more students could be allowed around the floats this year-- but no rules have been finalized yet.

She pitched the open-container idea to Carbondale city council members last week.

"We just really want (students) to come out and be engaged in homecoming," James said. "And be on the sidelines."

Carbondale councilmen had a few issues, one being the time drinking would start.

"8 a.m., to me, it's too early to start drinking no matter what you're doing," councilwoman Carolin Harvey said July 24.

Another issue would be separating people who are drinking from those who aren't.

"If we're going to do this, I hope that there is a lot of communication so that people aren't surprised," councilman Jeff Doherty said.

But some councilmen think there won't be a problem at all. Councilman Adam Loos said if people get too drunk, it could even be a teaching moment for his kids.

"There's a difference between alcohol and drunkenness," Loos said. "When we get too tyrannical about things, we end up with more drunkenness rather than responsible drinking."

James said she's open to discussion.

"Our end goal with homecoming in general is to create a great experience for everyone in the community and on campus," James said.

Carbondale city spokeswoman Amy Fox says the proposal will be on an upcoming city council agenda.

Just how the proposal will look when council members vote is to be determined.

The next city council meeting is Aug. 14. The parade is Oct. 20.

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