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Council bans sale of inappropriate items during Thursdays on Sweden

CARIBOU, Maine — In an effort to maintain Caribou’s Thursdays on Sweden street festival as a “family-friendly” event, Caribou City Councilors voted 5-1 in favor of banning weapons, adult themed items, or drug-related items at the semi-monthly summer event. 

City Manager Dennis Marker said this first came to the city’s attention last year when a vendor “brought artistic knives and weaponry,” and this year when a vendor asked to bring “drug-themed apparel.”

He said city attorney Rick Solman told the city that, as the host, it can “dictate the terms of policy” for the street festival as long as that policy “is not predicated upon federally recognized protected classes.” In other words, Caribou can enact any policy for the event so long as there is no discrimination against race, color, religion or creed, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, age, disabilities, veteran status, genetic information or citizenship.

Mayor Mark Goughan clarified that this was a “first read item,” and that no action was necessary by the council during the meeting, then asked Marker how long it would take to enact this policy if the council approved it during the meeting.

Marker said the policy could be enacted immediately with council approval. Councilor Jody Smith then moved to adopt the policy and all councilors but Hugh Kirkpatrick voted in favor of moving forward with the restrictions. Councilor Nicole Cote was absent for the June 24 meeting.

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