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Country Time to help defend kids from monsters who shut down lemonade stands

Illustration for article titled Country Time to help defend kids from monsters who shut down lemonade standsem/em
Photo: RUSS ROHDE (Cultura/Getty Images)

Last month, some kids in Denver decided to run a lemonade stand, with the profits going to a 5-year-old boy in Indonesia, via an organization called Charity International. Nice, right? That is, until the stand got shut down by Denver police for not having a permit.

While this incident may not be as common as Country Time would have you believe, it apparently does happen. (Even Snopes has an entry on whether kids get their lemonades stands shut down over permitting issues, declaring this particular rumor “mostly true.”) So the popular lemonade brand has now created Legal-Ade, with a group of lawyers ready to help kids slapped with fines. What’s more, Country Time even says that it will pay any permit fines, in an effort to keep the spirit of creative entrepreneurship alive in young children. According to the countrytimelegalade.com website: “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.”

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While it’s a cute marketing ploy, and while we’re sure any kids slapped with fines will appreciate the professional help, we still have to wonder how widespread this problem is. Even Snopes only listed previous U.S. events in 2015, 2010, 1998, and one in the U.K. last year. So if this “Legal-Ade” is just a clever marketing ploy hidden under the charming hood of benevolence, well… well played, Country Time.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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DISCUSSION

I loathe defending government bureaucrats, but there’s a bit more to this particular story. The “kids” set up their stand outside of the Denver Arts Festival, where there were a number of other vendors who (presumably) had paid dearly for their own permits and space at such a popular event (the quotation marks are because I have strong doubts that the kids just decided to set up their cute little stand at a major festival without adult involvement). It’s not like someone set up shop in their front yard and the nasty people came by to close them down.