Spoof Awards 2021: The Happy Hour Award
Residents of the Qualla Boundary and Robbinsville can now join the rest of the state in a collective 5 p.m. ‘cheers’ after voters in those jurisdictions chose to lift some of the last alcohol bans still in effect in North Carolina.
After multiple attempts spanning more than a decade, a referendum seeking Cherokee voters’ approval to allow beer and wine sales by the glass or by the package, as well as liquor sales at a store to be run by the Tribal Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, passed this September with well over half of voters in favor. Nearly two-thirds — 62.7% — of voters endorsed allowing beer and wine sales at “qualified establishments” such as restaurants and hotels. Measures permitting retail beer sales and an ABC package store, meanwhile, had slightly lower rates of approval with 57.6% and 59.3% of voters, respectively, answering yes to those proposals.
In Robbinsville, voters faced a series of seven referendum questions aiming to allow beer and wine sales in a variety of formats. Only about 200 people participated in the election, so while all seven measures passed, some squeaked by on extremely narrow margins . Only two votes separated the ayes from the nays in the question regarding off-premises wine sales.
While Graham County, of which Robbinsville is the seat, remains North Carolina’s only dry county, visitors and residents alike can now tip their glasses in more places than ever before in Western North Carolina.