Helena suspends open container ordinances for Big Sky Pride

Nolan Lister

The Helena City Commission on Monday approved a resolution suspending the city’s ordinances prohibiting open alcohol containers within the downtown urban renewal district for the day of Big Sky Pride.

The resolution, approved on a 4-1 vote with City Commissioner Sean Logan casting the only “no” vote, suspends Helena City Code sections 5-1-1 and 7-14-1 only within the borders of the city’s downtown urban renewal district, loosely bound by Park, Cruse and Lyndale avenues, on July 23.

Section 5-1-1 prohibits the possession of an open alcoholic beverage on city “streets, alleys, parks or on any other public premises in this City,” and section 7-14 lays out the requirements for a permit to suspend that prohibition.

The downtown urban renewal district encompasses seven city parks, including Centennial, Womens, Hill and Anchor parks.

Logan stated ahead of his “no” vote that he was opposed only to the suspension of city code, and he noted that within the code the commissioners voted to suspend are instructions on how to obtain a permit accomplishing the same goal. 

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However, Helena Transportation Systems Director David Knoepke said the permits are typically reserved

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