Kids’ Lemonade Stand Shut Down by County Government..

This is a crazy story. Another one of these “overreaching government” stories that seem to be all the rage (for good reason). Before I get into it, I’ll note that a $500 fine imposed on the children in this story has been waived and the kids have been granted permission to re-open their lemonade stand. But before someone in power came to their senses and decided that they didn’t want to whole nation looking at them for such a ridiculous action. (I’ll also note that these are kids of some very rich, “Washington power” families, the Marriotts (yeah, the the family behind the hotels) and the Augustines (of Lockheed-Martin). Anyway, here’s the story….

Some children in Bethesda, Maryland decided to have some fun and make a little money for a charity by setting up a lemonade stand on Persimmon Tree Rd. A county official, however, considering that to be illegal, told the kids they needed to shut down the stand.

The kids apparently ignored the order, which resulted in the inspector laying a $500 fine on them (or, technically, on their parents).

“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 said in a trembling voice.

The children argued that their lemonade stand was not illegal as they were sending the money to charity.

Some information from a local news agency (video here):

Jennifer Hughes, the director of permitting for the county, says it’s technically illegal to run even the smallest lemonade stand in the county, but inspectors usually don’t go looking for them. She said this one was unusually large. Hughes also says they’ve warned all kinds of other vendors they couldn’t operate near the US Open because of concerns about traffic and safety.

But that did little to console Carrie Marriott. “Does every kid who sells lemonade now have to register with the county?” she asked the inspector.

“Cute little kids making five or ten dollars is a little bit different than making hundreds. You’ve got coolers and coolers here,” the inspector responded.

“To raise money for pediatric cancer,” Marriott replied.


Another interesting point the local news agency brought up is that the county was giving out a ton of permits allowing residents to charge people for parking on their front lawns. And, reportedly, these folks were making tens of thousands of dollars on these golf fans. But a lemonade stand for charity is a no-no….

As I said at the top, someone came around, just requiring that the kids move it approximately 100 feet from where it was initially set up (for safety reasons).




  • Name please

    We want names please…

  • http://Web Derpin’

    First world problems, eh?

  • http://Web Goloso

    It’s a silly thing to prevent children from selling lemonade to help a charity.
    But on the other side…
    What if people who drank the lemonade would have gotten sick becasue the lemonade was not prepared in a safe and sanitary way. Would the people who got sick and had to miss work just say, “Well, it was for charity so I don’t mind getting sick.”

  • http://Web vegmama

    my 5 yr old had a registered stand for the same event here in nj a local yoga studio let us set up in front of her location, i had to call and see if we needed a permit they said they couldnt legally give me one but being that it was for charity no one should bother us, its crazy , these kids are learning to help others and for this to happen is just sad …

  • http://Web Al

    I actually got sick last year from getting lemonade at a kids stand so unfortunately as much as I like the message that having a stand and donating to charity send to kids I think it’s time to change the way they get the money for donations. At the same time to actually charge a fine to the kids, unless the setup the stand again and again, was quite a horrible first move!

    I do need to mention though that if you are going to let your kills sell lemonade you have to watch them. There was a stand in my neighborhood the other day and I watched the kids running out into the street a few times trying to wave down cars. They could have been killed!