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Rob Ford Fest denied liquor licence, deemed not ‘municipally significant’

Mayor Rob Ford holds up a Ford Fest T-shirt on Sept. 2, 2011, at his mother’s house in Etobicoke. Coucillors Giorgio Mammolitti and Frances Nunziata are to his left.

MATTHEW SHERWOOD/The Globe and Mail

There will be no booze at the Rob Ford Fest this week after the province turned down the organizers' application for a liquor licence, but the Toronto mayor insists those who come to his annual barbecue will still have a good time.

A spokesman for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says the event didn't qualify for a special occasion permit because it is not considered "municipally significant."

Jeff Keay says that designation must be granted by city council.

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He says previous Ford Fests obtained the permit by applying through their caterer, who already had a liquor licence.

Ford, meanwhile, says organizers were denied the licence over "timing" issues.

The event, which typically draws huge crowds, is being held Friday at Thomson Park in the city's east end.

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