Jul 28, 2014
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Beer Returns to This Year's Mercado after Swallows Day Parade

After going "on the wagon" last year, Fiesta organizers estimate they lost $18,000 in sales.

Beer Returns to This Year's Mercado after Swallows Day Parade

After turning off the taps last year, beer is back at the Mercado, the after-Swallows Day Parade marketplace.

After recently meeting with the city and Orange County Sheriff’s representatives, the Fiesta Association – which puts on all the Fiesta de Las Golondrinas events – got permission to sell beer from 12:30-3:30 p.m., said Jeff Schroeder, Fiesta spokesman.

Last year, officials wanted to restrict beer sales from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the folks from the Fiesta didn’t think the venture would sell enough suds to make it worthwhile.

“It’s not so much the number of hours but when,” Schroeder said.

While the dry celebration was well promoted locally, parade goers from a wider area didn’t necessarily get the news and said they were disappointed. Revelers crammed local bars and restaurants and stood in long lines to wet their whistle.

Schroeder estimates the Fiesta Association lost $18,000 by not selling beer last year. It’s the one of group’s larger fundraisers to support the parade and other activities, second only to corporate sponsorship, he said.

But with this year’s beer-selling hours adjusted to times more friendly to consuming beer, he has hopes the financial tap will also be flowing.

“Even though it’s a few hours we’ll probably make some money off it,” he said.

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