I remember when I first moved to Albany (some 13 years ago) how cool I thought it was that they had all these events where you could just walk around and have a drink at. Whether it was Firebird block parties, Alive at Five, Tulip Fest or whatever, it seemed that most public functions would allow you to bring a cooler and you could just do whatever you wanted to do. There was a great sense of freedom. I must admit that it seemed strange at first, but easily got used to it. And now it seems illegal to do anything unless you want to stand in long lines and be gated in like cattle. I believe that part of the reason things have gone the way have is simply the 'Corporate America' angle of wanting to make its money by forcing you to buy their products instead of bringing your own. But it would also be silly not to think that the whole ‘Kegs n Eggs’ fiasco of the St. Patty’s Parade Day may have brought this on with Tulip Fest. If you read this Times Union article about banning outside alcohol at Tulip Fest you’ll see that they claim that it had nothing to do with it and that it’s to try and make it more family oriented. But hey, it was pretty family oriented for the last 60 years or so wasn’t it?