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Music on Main first event impacted by new policy

Lakewood Ranch officials hope to create safer environment through 'Parent on Site' policy.

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  • | 8:40 a.m. July 7, 2017
  • East County
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Tonight’s Music on Main will be the first major event impacted by Main Street at Lakewood Ranch’s new Parent on Site policy.

The policy, which went into effect July 5, requires parents to accompany youths under 16 years old while frequenting Main Street after 6 p.m. Children may not be dropped off and left unattended.

The policy requires “all visitors under the age of 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult after 6 p.m. This includes all Main Street events and concerts. Any unaccompanied visitors under the age of 16 on the property after 6 p.m. will be asked to leave the property or wait with a security officer until their parents arrive.”

Main Street Property Manager Amanda Zipperer said the policy has been “in the works” for several months and is in response to minors fighting, causing property damage and being generally disrespectful of visitors, merchants and Main Street property.

On July 1, juveniles started setting things on fire with cigarette lighters, while at the Starbucks on Main Street. Youths eventually set fire to a newspaper and tossed it onto a sofa there, which started another fire. Although one youth tried to stop the fire, the group ultimately fled the scene, but were followed and detained by a witness until the State Fire Marshall’s Office arrived on scene to interview and arrest them, an unofficial  Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report states. The number of youths involved is not indicated in the report.

“We want to do right by the community and offer everyone a fun, safe place to go,” Zipperer said in a statement.

Tonight's free monthly concert series runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at Main Street. Proceeds from beer and food sales benefit charity.

For more information, click here.


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