Lemon

Is the Lemonade Stand of Yore No More?

June 15, 2018

As summer rolls around, so do memories of sluggish afternoons spent sweating curbside, hawking paper cups of lemonade to adults speeding by in cars. My cousins and I would gather, plastic folding table in hand, to set up shop and while away the hours. Sometimes we'd walk away with a few bucks and that was cool, too.

Well, call me old (don’t), but it seems things have changed! And not in the best way. In recent years there’s been a spate of police interventions in lemonade stands. Yep: Law enforcement has been busting children for selling lemonade on the street without a permit.

I know, it’s strange (but strange things happen). Just last year, police in Porterville, California, warned the family of 5-year-old Autumn Thomasson that their daughter would have to pay for a business license after she set up a lemonade stand that earned her enough change to buy herself a new set of bike wheels.

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Then, there's this example, from Colorado. Denver police responded to a complaint against a local lemonade stand and were forced to shut it down.

One company, it seems, wants to change this unfortunate trend. Country Time, the makers of that fluorescent powder that powered pretty much all of my own childhood lemonade stands, has put together a legal task force dedicated to protecting children in their lemonade stand pursuits. The initiative, cheekily titled Legal-Ade, pledges to do right by intrepid lemonade stand owners and pay back any fines they may have incurred. Here’s a bit of their official text:

Life doesn't always give you lemons, but when it does, you should be able to make and share lemonade with the neighborhood without legal implications. That's why we're here to take a stand for lemonade stands across the nation. The offices of Legal-Ade are now open! So, if your lemonade stand has incurred a fine during the 2017 or 2018 calendar year OR if you've purchased a permit for 2018 so your miniature entrepreneur can sell lemonade, turn to the good folks at Legal-Ade. We'll cover your fine or permit fees up to $300.

Plus, the company has pledged to donate $1 for every retweet of their promotional posts.

Could Legal-Ade be the change our lemonade stands need? The hero they deserve? Perhaps.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Apparently lemonade stands are still legal in my town. The city's police department recently posted photos of an officer standing next to some kid's lemonade stand on social media. Since the cop was smiling, I'm hoping that the kid wasn't arrested. (Our police department does not post photos of officers making the actual arrest.) :o)”
— cv
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In the meantime, why not throw together a lemonade stand of your own?


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Have you ever been the proud owner of a lemonade stand? Tell us about it in the comments.

5 Comments

FrugalCat June 21, 2018
I sold lollipops when I was a kid and got shut down by my school, so I sympathize.
 
cv June 17, 2018
Apparently lemonade stands are still legal in my town. The city's police department recently posted photos of an officer standing next to some kid's lemonade stand on social media. Since the cop was smiling, I'm hoping that the kid wasn't arrested. (Our police department does not post photos of officers making the actual arrest.)<br /><br />:o)
 
Matt H. June 16, 2018
They're never going to get their ROI for building a stand and selling things for like 50¢. It seems better to teach children how to get a real job instead.
 
cv June 17, 2018
And what kind of "real job" do you suggest for a 5-year old like the one mentioned in this article?<br /><br />Venture capitalism? Hedge fund management? Selling annuities?
 
BerryBaby June 15, 2018
Children in pur neighborhood had a stand last year. Brought back wonderful summer memories. The next town over stabds are illegal. So ridiculous and pointless to stop children from doing something constructive and enterprising.