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Girl won't need permit for lemonade stand during Boonesborough Days

September 05, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

BOONSBORO -- When life hands you lemons ... get a permit.

Or at least that's what someone told 9-year-old Alexis LaRocca as she sold lemonade in her great-grandmother's yard on McKeldin Drive last year during Boonesborough Days.

"A woman came up to me and said I needed a permit," said Alexis, who is now 10. "I felt really bad because I was selling it for five years since I was in kindergarten."

Alexis' mother, Dana Cronise, said she was irate when she heard the news.

"When did children have to get permits to sell lemonade?" Cronise asked. "I would understand if she was a vendor in the park, but she was in her great-grandmother's backyard."

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This year's Boonesborough Days is Saturday and Sunday.

Alexis said she raised about $150 a year selling the lemonade and was putting the money into a savings account to help pay for her college education.

The woman who told Alexis to get a permit didn't identify herself, but Alexis said she took the warning seriously and closed the lemonade stand. As an alternative, Alexis said she and some friends planned to have a yard sale and paint faces this year.

"I like to sell things and make money," Alexis said.

According to several government organizations, however, no one has the right to tell a child that he or she cannot sell lemonade on private property.

"We do not license or inspect little kids at lemonade stands unless they were to operate at an event like a fair or a carnival," said Ryan Seabolt of the Washington County Health Department.

Washington County Zoning Coordinator Kathy Kroboth said a few people have complained about snow cone vendors, but the county, to her knowledge, has never tried to put the squeeze on a lemonade stand.

When asked whether Alexis could sell lemonade in her great-grandmother's yard during this year's Boonesborough Days, Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman said, "Of course."

"I don't know who in the world would have told her she needed a permit," Kauffman said. "Good grief ... No one from the town did that."

After hearing that she would be able to sell lemonade again this year, Alexis said she and her friends would have to devise a new plan.

"I'll sell the lemonade and do the face painting," she said. "My friends will do the yard sale."

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