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Wine festival in Hawley nixed

December 19, 2012

The food and wine festival proposed to be held in Hawley has been nixed because a majority of the Hawley Borough council thought it was not a good fit for the town. The council vote four to three on December 12 that the event would not go forward.

Opponents said they were concerned with liability issues with allowing alcohol to be consumed in a public park should something go wrong.

Jon Henderson, the promoter of the event, sought to assure the council members that wine events have been held often in the past in other locations and normally are pulled off without a hitch, and said that no laws would be violated. He added that his company would hold insurance on the event, taking liability away from the council.

Henderson received support from Jim Shook, president of the Pocono Lake Region Chamber of Commerce.

But the majority of the council members could not be convinced. At the previous meeting, council member Mary Sanders said, “This is a trend that sends a wrong message,” adding that the council should not be involved. “This should be handled privately, not in a public forum.”