Concert series, medical cannabis on council agenda


BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council will consider a temporary alcohol license for Downtown at Sundown, which is making a comeback after a COVID-19 layoff last summer. 

The council will also hear a second reading on medical cannabis at this week’s meeting, starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Brookings City & County Government Center.

Downtown at Sundown

“The Brookings Area Chamber Downtown Committee has applied for a temporary alcohol license to host a series of events for Downtown at Sundown on the 300 block of Fifth Street and the 400 block of Main Avenue on July 22, July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19, 2021,” according to an attachment.

“All temporary alcohol licenses must be approved by the City Council through use of a public hearing. All documents have been filed with the city pertaining to insurance and other licensing requirements,” according to the attachment.

The Downtown at Sundown event began in 2015 as a weekly concert with vendors and activities. It has run Thursdays for seven weeks each summer. At the start, it drew approximately 526 attendees per event, seven headlining bands overall, and four food/alcohol vendors, according to the attachment. 

“This event has grown to an attendance of 1,500 per event for five weeks with four food/alcohol vendors: Main Street Pub, Pints & Quarts, Wooden Legs Brewing, and Craft,” according to the attachment.

The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce has distributed maps of the new layout for the event. The location will be shifting slightly to the east. In the past, it has taken up the 300 block of Fifth Street between Main and Third avenues with the stage situated just east of Third Avenue. 

This year, the band stage will be located in the intersection of Main Avenue and Fifth Street, (the post office corner). Food and beverage vendors will still be located in the 300 block of Fifth Street, but only the east half. Vendors and sponsors will be located near the stage in the 400 block of Main Avenue with the Kid Zone and activities at the southern end of the 400 block of Main Avenue.

Moving it to the east and taking another block will give the growing crowds more room. Having the stage in front of the post office will shift the position of the band so the public is not staring into the setting sun in the later evening. Moving most of the booths and activities to a north-south running street will allow the buildings on the west side to shade the street, instead of having the hot summer sun beat down on the black asphalt and everyone standing on it. 

Medical cannabis

The council will hear a second reading on a temporary ordinance establishing procedures pertaining to licensing medical cannabis establishments in Brookings.

“The City of Brookings has submitted a temporary ordinance regarding the issuance of local medical cannabis establishment permits and/or licenses. The proposed ordinance is temporary while the city awaits guidance from the South Dakota Department of Health on rules and regulations pertaining to the licensing of medical cannabis facilities,” according to the attachment.

“Initiated Measure 26 (IM 26), which legalized medical cannabis in the State of South Dakota, provides that the South Dakota Department of Health shall set rules for medical cannabis establishments no later than Oct. 29, 2021. Due to the current lack of Department of Health standards and requirements, the city’s current regulations and controls may not yet adequately address the unique needs and impacts of medical cannabis establishments,” according to a memo by Ryan Miller, city planner.

“The proposed ordinance is temporary while the city awaits guidance from the South Dakota Department of Health on rules and regulations pertaining to the licensing of medical cannabis facilities. As IM 26 has an implementation date of July 1, 2021, this temporary ordinance would allow the city to deny any applications for medical cannabis facilities until such time as the state adopts rules and regulations for the licensing of medical cannabis facilities. In the interim, the city continues to research zoning regulations for medical cannabis facilities,” according to Miller’s memo.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected].

City of Brookings to declare June LGBTQ+ Pride Month 

BROOKINGS – A proclamation declaring June LGBTQ+ Pride Month will be read at the June 22 Brookings City Council meeting. 

The proclamation aligns with the city’s vision of a welcoming and inclusive community – encouraging all residents to “Bring Your Dreams.”

Each June, colorful flags are flown for a week in Brookings to celebrate Pride Month. The flags are an initiative of the Brookings Human Rights Commission (BHRC).

“BHRC was honored to be able to fly the pride flags from June 4 through June 11 in support of Pride Month and to coincide with the Brookings Pride event,” BHRC member Jason Meusburger said. “We appreciate the community’s support and commitment to increasing our awareness and inclusion for our LGBTQI community to promote equality in the Brookings area. The flags symbolize our effort with values that promote equality, respect, courage, justice and love. With the support of the wonderful Brookings community, the Pride flags will be presented each year to come. Thank you for your continued support.”

Public artwork celebrating equality is also a fixture in Brookings thanks to a collaboration of the Brookings Public Arts Commission and the Brookings Human Rights Commission. The artwork, which was added in 2019, consists of a rainbow of colors gracing the pavement at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street. 

The multi-colored stripes, which are not painted but made from a thermoplastic inlay with a white border to define the edges, will last about five years and then be refreshed. The artwork is symbolic of the community’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the City of Brookings press release says. 

The City of Brookings has received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the U.S., for three years in a row.

To date, Brookings has been the only community in South Dakota to achieve a perfect score. 

“This year and in the future, the City of Brookings and the Human Rights Commission will continue efforts to achieve greater equality and inclusion within the Brookings community,” the release says.

– From the City of Brookings

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