Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth to host additional Beach to Beacon events in 2017

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Events at Fort Williams Park in connection with next year’s TD Beach to Beacon 10k will include parties where alcohol will be served.

The Town Council on Nov. 14 unanimously approved the events to be offered as part of the 20th annual road race, as recommended by the Fort Williams Park Committee.

The expanded use includes hosting all pre- and post-race events at the park on a one-year trial basis. In the past, these events have been held at other locations in Cape Elizabeth.

A volunteer picnic, to be held Aug. 2, 2017; the pre-race press conference, to be held Aug. 4, and the post-race VIP lobster bake the night of the Aug. 5 race will all be on the lawn near Portland Head Light. They will require setting up an additional tent along the fence south of the lighthouse.

Hosting the events at the park, as well as serving alcohol at the picnic and lobster bake, will add an additional $2,400 to the $25,000 fee paid by race organizers to the town. The use of the park for the picnic and the press conference will cost $700 for each event, and permission to serve alcohol will cost $500 each day.

Consuming alcohol at Fort Williams Park is generally prohibited, but there was an exception made in a policy approved November 2011 by the Town Council; alcohol can be served at events with council approval.

Town Manager Mike McGovern on Nov. 14 said police will oversee the events where alcohol is allowed, and a fence will be erected around the event areas. 

McGovern said there have never been any problems with groups abusing alcohol at park events.

“We’ve done it for a couple of other groups with no issue and no problems,” he said.

Town Councilor Jessica Sullivan said she was happy to approve the race organizers’ request, because the race has never caused problems for the town.

“The Beach to Beacon Committee has done such an outstanding job in its stewardship and its management and everything with this event that I’m very confident to approve this expanded use,” she said. “I think that this is worth allowing.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

The annual Beach to Beacon 10K road race, which was won by Maine native Ben True in 2016, will hold all of its pre- and post-race events at Fort Williams Park in 2017.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.