Children on scooters hastily crossed Brenna Road as drivers used caution passing through the crowd of neighborhood youngsters. Any passerby with a car window rolled down also heard, "Lemonade for sale. Lemonade for sale," echo between yelps of laughter.
And in the horde of children stood Karia Wells and Adam Escalante, both 6-year-old residents of Waxahachie East. The two had no idea that what they were doing had the potential to be shut down by law enforcement, either.
Well, until the actions of the 86th Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott stepped in.
Abbott recently signed House Bill 234 that "would let children run a lemonade stand without paying fees or needing to acquire a license or permit," according to a report by the Austin American Statesman.
Even though the bill does not technically go into effect until Sept. 1, the families were in place at 7 p.m. Tuesday and earned over $10 in a matter of 45 minutes.
A passion for creating and helping keep their neighborhood friends refreshed drove the two to set up a table with two offerings of lemonade — yellow and pink.
"Everyone is thirsty, and they like to get a drink," explained Wells while wearing an apron and chef's hat.
Wells' partner in the small business was her neighbor, Adam, who has a passion for cooking as well. He shared that his favorite dish is salmon.
Adam noted his idea to set up shop was "basically so we could get more money and a lot of times in the summer it gets really hot, so there are thirsty people. So, I like to help them be less thirsty."
Susana, Adam's mother, expressed she was incredibly proud of her son's entrepreneurial nature and reflected on her younger days selling lemonade so she could buy her own candy.
"When I was growing up, I did a lemonade stand, and it was something that I always remembered, and it always stayed with me so I was happy to be able to pass that down so he'd be able to remember that," Susana reflected.
Yvonne Price, the mother of Karia, was born and raised in Waxahachie and graduated from Waxahachie High in 1994. Part of her morning routine includes a solid dose of news, which she shared helped her become familiar with the bill recently signed by Abbott.
"I didn't know you couldn't do lemonade," Price noted before the public acknowledgment of HB 234. "I knew with garage sales you had to go through the city, but not with lemonade. They are just little kids. I learned something new."
The mothers expressed it made them happy and fulfilled to see their children connecting with the community and working with each other.
On April 10, Abbott filmed himself signing HB 243 that legalized lemonade and other nonalcoholic beverage stands ran by minors on private property.
"Here is a common-sense law," Abbott affirmed with pen in hand. "It allows kids to sell lemonade at lemonade stands. We had to pass it because police shut down a lemonade stand here in Texas."
After his signature met the line, he raised a glass of lemonade in a toast to children across the state.
Texas State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, authored the bill that legalized lemonade and other nonalcoholic beverage stands run by children.
According to the Austin American Statesman, the Texas Food Establishment had previously banned lemonade stands because of health concerns.
The Texas Tribune reported the law not only targeted local health codes but the neighborhood rules that intentionally or unintentionally banned the stands or required permitted for them to operate.
The Tribune backtracked to 2015 when police in Overton — a city 22 miles east of Tyler — reportedly shut down a lemonade stand set up by two young siblings who were trying to raise funds to purchase a Father's Day present.
Only 15 states allow unpermitted lemonade stands, according to countrytimelegalade.com. Those include Massachusetts, Louisiana, California, Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, North Dakota, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Connecticut with Texas and Colorado the most recent states to pass bills.
Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby told the Daily Light that he had not heard about the recent bill, and "I can't imagine the circumstances that would require law enforcement to shut one down. I've never seen anything like that, but I'm glad the governor did it."
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450