Q&A About the Beer Ban at Mercado

The Fiesta Association's Jeff Schroeder answer's Patch's questions about the annual event which will be cerveza-free this year.

To get more background on the beer ban at Mercado, Patch recently spoke with Jeff Schroeder, a member of the Fiesta Association Board and spokesman for the group that has turned La Fiesta de las Golondrinas into a two-month-long celebration, with activities scheduled to begin as early as Feb. 12 with the Taste of San Juan.

PATCH: I'd like to get into more details about what not selling beer means for Fiesta and all the activities. My understanding is that the sale of beer was the major fund-provider for Fiesta. 

SCHROEDER: Yes, alcohol sales in the Mercado has been a great source of income, but there are also many costs associated with the sales such as fencing, security, permits, etc.  

PATCH: Without it, will prices go up elsewhere? 

SCHROEDER: This has not been determined as this news was just made public last night.

PATCH: Which? To how much?  

SCHROEDER: It is too soon to answer these questions. 

PATCH: Have you made a determination yet? Will some things have to be cut? 

SCHROEDER: All expenses associated with selling alcohol. 

PATCH: If so, what? 

SCHROEDER: Alcohol permits, tents, tables, cost of beer, cost of wine, decorations, wrist bands, fencing, extra PortiPotties, clean-up costs, extra security costs, special uniforms, lunches for security, cost of extra sheriff security.

PATCH: Beer obviously will continue to be sold at local restaurants. Is there any plan to draw them in more? 

SCHROEDER: We’ll be exploring options, possibly the newly formed SJC Restaurant Association. 

PATCH: Can they be a source of revenue? 

SCHROEDER: This is yet to be determined. 

PATCH: Will they become more a part of the advertisement campaign?  

SCHROEDER: Hope so, but too early to tell.

PATCH: Is there an effort to keep families at Mercado? If so, what specific outreach would you have for that?  

SCHROEDER: There is now a hope that without alcohol sales in the Mercado, it will lend more to a family atmosphere and merchant sales.

PATCH: How does word get out to all the people who come from much farther away? 

SCHROEDER: We will most likely post signage at the Mercado entrances, and it will now be included in all of our advertising and press releases. 

PATCH: Do you think they'll show up and be disappointed? 

SCHROEDER: Of course some people will, but while we didn’t plan for it, we think it is a positive development overall.  

PATCH: Or will they have a way to find out?  

SCHROEDER: It will also be on our website.

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el nacho February 01, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Jeff looks
Jonathan Volzke February 01, 2013 at 08:15 AM
Lotta Q, not much A.
Matt Gaffney February 01, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Perhaps the idea should have been explored, maybe it was, to not start Beer sales until after the parade is over. That's usually 2 - 2:30pm. The 2 hr window referenced would last until 4 - 4:30pm. There'll still be beer behind the Swallows? Those sales are separate from the Fiesta Association.
Clint Worthington February 03, 2013 at 04:44 PM
"cost of extra sheriff security". The City of San Juan Capistrano waived the cost of the Sheriff which was $16,397.85 last year for the parade at the February 7, 2012 City Council meeting on item D5. For Mr. Schroeder to say it was the cost of extra Sheriff security, that Sheriff cost ($16,397.85) was paid for by the taxpayers of San Juan Capistrano, not the Fiesta Association. The Alcohol Permit (Mercado) of $55.37 was also waived at the City Council meeting. For Mr. Schroeder to say that there were extra costs for the Sheriff and the Alcohol Permit, is blatantly not true. These costs were paid for by the taxpayers of San Juan Capistrano, not the Fiesta Association.
MW March 28, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Clint- I'm with you. The parking lot behind Swallows is set up by Swallows security hired by Swallows. I don't know about the porta-potties etc, but all the fencing and that is all taken care of by Swallows with some help from some other organization to my knowledge. The OCSD offered a 3 hour permit and that just isn't enough time to even break even from the costs to be able to give anything to the local charities. Am I missing something here?


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