Ohio Food Festival Complaint Gets 10-Year-Old Girl’s Lemonade Stand Shut Down

Stories like this come up occasionally, leaving people scratching their heads. Asa Baker, a 10-year-old girl, had set up a lemonade stand in an alley outside her father’s business. Unfortunately, according to the New York Post, the Alliance, Ohio Rib and Food Festival was in operation.

A reluctant police officer told Baker she would have to shut down her unpermitted stand because the festival management had complained. “‘Well, they [police] were really sad that they had to shut me down, but they gave me $20 to try and pay for it,’ Baker said, explaining that the officer gave her $20 for her to use to purchase the needed permit.”

People often scratch their heads at these ordinances when enforced against kids. However, they usually apply to adults where they may make sense, although the fees often seem unreasonable. Still, city councils pass laws the officers are obligated to enforce when they get a complaint.

It seems the easiest thing to do would be to exempt children under a certain age from licensing requirements. After all, we should not be inhibiting the entrepreneurial spirit in young Americans. And what about the “adult” who complained to the police about a 10-year-old girl selling lemonade?

But for the complaint, using their discretion, most cops would not enforce the ordinance against a little girl. When people read these stories, they should contact their city or county councils and get their reps to change ordinances to make an age exception.

According to WJW-TV, FOX 8, “festival organizers who seemed to be conflicted about voicing their concerns but ultimately officers are required to enforce local ordinances.” Hey, festival organizers… how about going with that first instinct that had you “conflicted?” There’s a reason you felt like that.

FOX 8 “reported that there are only 14 states in which a permit or license is not required to sell lemonade at a lemonade stand.”

A local businessman came to Baker’s aid and allowed her to sell lemonade from his business while he kept a tip jar on the counter inside to help her raise money for a permit. They collected around $250 in just a few hours.

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