Here’s where and when you’ll be able to drink in public in Johnson County this summer  

Several Johnson County cities temporarily allow the consumption of alcohol in public during special summer events, including at monthly Moonlight Markets in downtown Shawnee, above. File photo.

Summer is coming, and with it, the chance to do some outdoor imbibing. 

Some Johnson County cities have recently expanded or adjusted their rules around drinking in public, known by their more official title as common consumption areas, where residents can drink publicly.

Other cities are renewing existing public drinking areas to coincide with upcoming summer events. 

Here’s what to know about public drinking in your city: 

Overland Park

  • Per city code, public drinking is generally prohibited in any public street or parking lot, in vehicles or on public properties.
  • But the city can approve the serving of alcohol at select locations in town during social events and if a valid application is submitted. 
  • Anyone under the age of 21 who violates this ordinance has to complete an alcohol and drug evaluation by a community safety action program and pay a fine.
  • The city of Overland Park’s Community Development Committee recently voted to renew the common consumption area at the Prairiefire development, which will allow for public drinking during Prairiefire’s Juneteenth celebration, Thursday Night Concert Series and Oktoberfest celebration.

Shawnee

  • Shawnee’s common consumption area applies to downtown Shawnee and other events that have obtained a temporary permit.
  • The downtown common consumption area includes West 58th Street to West 59th Street and King Street to Bluejacket Street.
  • Alcohol must be in a cup that identifies the business that served it.

Lenexa

  • Public drinking in Lenexa is generally prohibited on any public property, including public parks, buildings, parking lots, streets, alleys or vehicles.
  • Exceptions for that include private events with liquor permits, city manager-approved events like the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle or Lenexa Art Fair, the Public Market common consumption area or farmers markets.
  • This requires the surrounding streets to be closed during the event.
  • Breaking this rule means either a fine between $50 and $200, up to six months or imprisonment or both, according to the city.

Mission

  • Mission’s downtown common consumption area boundaries are generally Martway Street to the south, Lamar Avenue to the west, Roeland Drive to the east and mid-block behind the buildings on the north side of Johnson Drive.
  • However, events that allow public drinking within that area still require prior approval for specifics dates and times.
  • Outside of such events in the designated common consumption area, other public drinking events can happen through private or city functions. Those require City Council approval and temporary waivers.

Prairie Village

  • Prairie Village prohibits drinking in public spaces like streets, parking lots and vehicles, according to the city.
  • Residents can drink outdoors on private property and outside on the premises of businesses that have a liquor license.
  • The city can also issue special use permits for special events in public.
  • Violation of the ordinance could mean up to a $100 fine and imprisonment of up to 30 days or both.

Roeland Park

  • Public drinking is not allowed in Roeland Park without a temporary permit from the city. 
  • Special events can get permits, but the permit has to specify the date, time and location of the event. An applicant also can’t get more than four special event permits per calendar year.
  • Violation of Roeland Park’s public drinking rules could mean a fine of up to $499, up to 90 days at the county jail or both.

Merriam

  • In Merriam, any consumption or selling of alcohol on public property needs city approval and marking of the consumption area boundaries.
  • Temporary permits can’t exceed three days and the permit must specify the date and time of the event.
  • The consumption area at the event also must be marked off. 

Fairway

  • Public drinking is generally prohibited in Fairway, with exceptions like city-sponsored events and designated areas at Peterson Park.
  • Anyone who violates this could face up to a $499 fine, up to 179 days in jail or both.
  • Licensed businesses or permit holders who violate the city’s drinking ordinances could also have their license revoked for up to 30 days.  

Westwood

  • The city of Westwood does not have a designated common consumption area.
  • Drinking alcohol is only allowed in Westwood at permitted special events, businesses with liquor licenses and at private residences.

Leawood

  • Common consumption areas in Leawood must receive city approval and be physically marked off. Such Common consumption areas designated by the city expire after five years.
  • Temporary permits can also be issued for special events, but an applicant can’t receive more than four temporary permits per calendar year.
  • Public drinking outside of these exceptions could mean a fine of up to $500, up to six months in jail or both.