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Rapid City officials mull beer sales at festival

RAPID CITY (AP) -- Summer Nights is gearing up to celebrate its fifth anniversary, but not without criticism from some city officials about the beer sales that finance the free downtown festival.

Ward 2 Alderman Steve Laurenti says that the proliferation of alcohol is changing the feel of the event.

According to media reports, the Legal & Finance Committee voted 4-1 on Wednesday to recommend approval of the 2012 event permit for Summer Nights. The Rapid City Council will make the final decision at its meeting Monday.

Event organizers defended the beer sales, saying they enforce a strict ID policy and ban alcohol in areas specifically for children.