Fresh Lemonade
County sours lemonade stand. / Image:pink.polka/Flickr/CC BY

Two families in Bethesda, Md., have been slapped with a $500 fine for “operating a lemonade stand without a permit.” The children of the two families living near the Congressional Country Club, where the U.S. Open is under way this weekend, were catering to the throngs of fans headed to the golf tournament.

Catering to needs of the fans

Many local residents have found ways to make extra money during the annual event. Many sell parking spaces on their property for as much as $60. The children of the Marriott and Augustine families, realizing that fans get thirsty in the muggy Maryland heat, thought they had found themselves a unique market niche. And they were doing fine until the county inspectors came around.

Warnings allegedly ignored

The children had set up their stand on Persimmon Tree Rd., on the “main strip” near the golf course. County officials say they were warned more than once, and chose to ignore the warnings. So their parents were fined $500 and the children were forced to close up their stand.

‘No American dream’

“This gentleman from the county is now telling us because we don’t have a vendors license, the kids won’t be allowed to sell their lemonade,” Carrie Marriott, mother of some of the children running the stand told reporters. “The message to kids is there’s no American dream.”

County officials responded by saying “Kids selling lemonade making $5 or $10 is a little different than making hundreds.”

‘The county is wrong’

The children were upset and, according to reports, didn’t seem to understand why they were being targeted. “I don’t agree, I think the county is wrong,” one of them said. “We’re sending the money to charity,” another of them chimed in.

Fine subsequently waived

Subsequently, Montgomery County officials have waived the $500 fine and allowed the children to reopen their stand off the main strip where the fan traffic is heaviest.


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