Planning is underway in the city of De Pere to host a beer garden at Voyageur Park over the summer. It’s an effort by the city to improve its park system – while helping people reconnect with their neighbors.
At Voyageur Park the pavilion sits empty. But come summer the city hopes to draw quite a crowd. By opening up a beer garden to bring people together, while creating a safe, social atmosphere.
“We’re looking to just provide them a little sense of relaxation, I guess you could call it,” said De Pere Mayor Mike Walsh.
“It’s meant to be a family experience, not a drinking fest,” said Alderperson Ryan Jennings.
Jennings says Madison and Milwaukee operate beer gardens within their park systems – places where people can relax and unwind.
“Milwaukee has several beer gardens that are very popular, draws a lot of people to their parks,” said Jennings.
“The socialization is more the sense we’re looking for,” Walsh said.
Beer sales would be managed by the parks department, as licensed bartenders handle the point of sale. Ryan says that gives the city greater control to maintain a family friendly atmosphere.
“I think the desire is to have the city stay in the driver’s seat,” Jennings said.
De Pere’s mayor says money from beer sales would fund future park system improvements. A similar program in Milwaukee generates a million dollars a year.
“I don’t think we’ll generate a million dollars a year. What we would get would go back into the parks,” said Walsh.
The city plans to operate the beer garden at Voyageur Park the last Tuesday of the month in July, August and September.