For the first time in the 47 years of the Philadelphia Folk Festival, there will be beer.

At least that's what festival organizers are hopeful about in their application for a beer sales license with the state liquor control board.

"We've never done this before. We thought about it and saw the potential for an added source of revenue for us," said festival chairman David Baskin.

At a meeting last week Baskin and other festival organizers received the approval of the Upper Salford Township board of supervisors to apply for the license.

The three-day festival is held annually at the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford. The event runs through the weekend of Aug. 15.

Though the sales permit has yet to be issued, Baskin said it looked promising and he expected the state to approve the application.

He wouldn't discuss details of the plans, only that festival organizers are working with a microbrewery they want as a vendor.

"We're going to rely on their expertise," Baskin said of the unnamed brewery.

The board of supervisors is expected to vote on the agreement next month. But at last week's meeting the board ostensibly gave the go ahead when it agreed upon letting organizers go to the state and apply for a beer sales license.

Supervisors chairman Ted Poatsy pushed to have the organizers sell bracelets for $2 as proof of legal drinking age, the proceeds of which would go to the township's fire company and open space.

Festival organizers said they wanted to hold off selling bracelets for at least the first year. Poatsy said he didn't have enough votes for approval.

What pushed the supervisors in favor of beer sales this year was the organizers got approval from the owners of the farm on which the festival is held, Poatsy said.

The festival runs for three days. This year's line up of musicians includes Steve Earle, Janis Ian, Judy Collins, and Al Stewart. Overall there are more than five dozen acts scheduled.

For more information visit the festival's Web site at www.folkfest.org.

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