The Harford County Liquor Control Board found the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival Inc. guilty of several violations stemming from its event Aug. 11 and 12 and levied a $3,000 fine against the event's organizers.
Lori Maslin, licensee for the event, didn't contest the violations during a hearing Wednesday afternoon, but said she was surprised to find out about them by being called to come before the board and not informed by the board's chief inspector.
The Seafood Festival, which was held at Tydings Park, was found guilty of allowing consumption of alcoholic beverages outside of the approved area, allowing alcoholic beverages not purchased from the licensed premises to be brought into the area and failure to maintain control of the approved outside service area.
In addition, Maslin will be required to come in and present a plan to the liquor board that addresses the issues from this year prior to next year's event.
Chief Inspector Charles Robbins testified that on the days in question he inspected the event and found several violations.
Several areas of fencing were missing or had fallen to the ground, he said, and signage alerting attendees that they could not take alcoholic beverages out of the fenced-in area were missing.
Robbins noted that he saw more than one instance of a festival attendee carrying an alcoholic drink outside of the premises.
In another violation, Robbins said he saw a woman exit the festival, go to a car at the nearby marina parking lot with a nearly empty clear cup of beer in her hand and come back from the car with a full cup of beer. This happened multiple times, Robbins said.
Volunteer monitors were also lacking at gaps in fencing where people were leaving and coming back.
There was also an issue of seeing people drink alcoholic beverages that had not been stamped and given a wristband that indicated they had been carded and were of legal age.
During the 2009 Seafood Festival, Robbins testified that there were similar issues and read from that report.
Proper signage was not visible at that event and volunteers were often not manning the entrances and exits.
Robbins said he saw people drinking while watching kids on the playground, outside of the approved event area, and a man who was visibly intoxicated continued to be served beer.
Robbins informed Maslin of the issues, which she addressed, and offered to provide training to volunteers to avoid future violations.
Robbins did not attend the event in 2011 and did not inspect the 2010 festival.
Maslin testified that once Robbins informed her of the violations this year they were "immediately corrected" and there were no issues in 2010 and 2011.
Wrist bands ran out the first night of the event, she said, and not every person is given one if they obviously look to be of age.
She wasn't sure why the "volunteers didn't do what they were supposed to do" and prevent people from leaving the area with alcoholic drinks.
"We want nothing more than to have a good event," Maslin said, "and to have no issues and no violations of the law."
She added that she was "surprised" when she received the report from Robbins and was informed she would need to appear before the board because there have been so little issues in the event's 20 years and after the 2009 event Robbins contacted her immediately, which he did not do this time.