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An alcohol-fueled Fourth

Pack 10,000 people into eight acres, with unlimited alcohol, a reason to party and a 90-minute parade, and what you have is a Sonoma Fourth of July.

While the body count is only an estimate, the number of people filling the Sonoma Plaza and flowing into Depot Park and the Field of Dreams was by any standard a throng.

And while countless people were visibly lubricated with alcohol, the potential carnage for which Sonoma police were fully prepared failed to unfold.

That doesn’t mean Sonoma’s finest weren’t busy, or that teenage boys didn’t interpret the city celebration as an invitation to ignore the age rules on imbibing adult beverages, but by and large there was a manageable level of chaos on July 4 and into the following morning.

The first police action didn’t take place until almost 2 p.m. when an officer spotted a 17-year-old boy standing outside the Cheese Factory wearing a backpack that a second teen could be seen reaching into nervously. The 17-year-old had a red Solo drinking cup filled with an amber liquid and, in the backpack, a 1.75 liter bottle of Smirnoff’s raspberry vodka and two bottles of Drake ale. He was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol and released, minus his booze.


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