Good news, YYC. You can now legally enjoy an adult beverage or two in select parks across Calgary.
As part of a new pilot program, beginning Tuesday, June 1, Calgarians are permitted to consume alcohol (responsibly, of course) at 30 clearly marked, designated picnic tables in the city’s parks from 11 am to 9 pm.
This pilot runs until September 7. The City of Calgary hopes to encourage anyone who may be feeling isolated to get outside and safely visit with family and friends as the pandemic continues to limit indoor recreational opportunities.
“As the weather warms after a very difficult winter, we’re excited to provide a new opportunity for Calgarians to responsibly connect with their parks and each other,” says Kyle Ripley, Director of Calgary Parks, in a news release from the City of Calgary.
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It’s important to note that alcohol consumption is not allowed at all of the city’s bookable picnic sites, and open alcohol cannot be carried around the parks. Drinking is only permitted while at designated picnic tables, which will be marked with the below signage.
Picnic tables where alcohol consumption is allowed can be found at parks in the following communities.
- Hidden Valley
- Houndsfield Heights/Briar Hill
- Panorama Hills
- Sage Meadows
- West Hillhurst
- Highland Park
- Mayland Heights
- Winston Heights/Mountview
- Bankview – Buckmaster Park
- Elbow Park
- West Springs
- Mckenzie Towne
Designated picnic tables can be used on a first-come, first-served basis, but they can also be reserved with a free permit that gives priority use. Calgarians can reserve picnic tables through the City of Calgary’s online booking system in time slots from noon to 2 pm, 4 to 6 pm, and 7 to 9 pm.
The pilot will start with 30 tables on June 1, and possibly expand in the coming weeks based on initial citizen feedback. Alternately, if issues arise, tables will be removed from the pilot, or the program could be discontinued early.
The City of Calgary reminds users that public intoxication remains prohibited, and driving after consuming alcohol is illegal. Additionally, all COVID-19 provincial health measures must be followed, including outdoor gathering limits and physical distancing requirements.
City administration will review the overall use and success of the alcohol in parks pilot program and report results back to the council in November 2021.