Watch: Karma Strikes a Washington City After Little Girl’s Lemonade Stand Is Shut Down

Chris Pizzello

Every danged year around this same time we get hit with insane stories about how lemonade stands run by children trying to make an honest buck or who are in some cases trying help out their fellow man get shut down thanks either to complaints from “Karens” or by local officials who happen to drive by and notice them.

I can’t think of a single instance of a story I’ve read about this happening where I was like “yep, they were totally right to shut this thing down.” There are very few people who haven’t driven by a lemonade stand in this country and thought about how cute it was to see enterprising young folks earning some pocket change by serving up some delicious cold, sweet lemon-flavored beverages to their neighbors on a hot summer day. There is simply nothing wrong with kids being allowed to do this provided they have adult supervision (and plenty of supplies on hand!).

What’s especially infuriating in many of these situations is that there are usually more pressing issues the city should be dealing with instead of targeting children for doing something so harmless.

All of this brings me to the latest instance of a child being punished for committing the sin of opening up a lemonade stand. According to local residents in one Everett, Washington community, a neighbor reported a stand being run at a nearby park by a 7-year-old girl to the city’s parks and recreation department. Not long after that, a park ranger showed up and politely informed the girl’s grandmother that the stand had to go.

News outlet KING5 reported that other neighbors were understandably upset over the city’s actions, especially considering the fact that there is a homeless encampment close by they don’t seem to want to address and which has created far more problems for the locals than a young girl’s lemonade stand:

Everett has come under fire for its homeless response in recent months after instituting a “no sit, no lie” ordinance on a section of Smith Avenue that prohibits people from sitting or lying down for a stretch of 10 blocks.

The ordinance displaced a large homeless encampment forcing many residents to set up different encampments in other parts of the city. Homeless advocates argued the city’s response was inadequate, and residents weren’t offered sufficient avenues into permanent housing.

[…]

Neighbors reported calling the police several times over the encampment Rucker Hill Park with few results.

As lemonade stand owner Elsa LaMaine and her grandmother, Cherie were being interviewed about what happened, a finer point was put on the ridiculousness of the situation when a homeless man walked out of the woods – totally naked. As cameras rolled, the grandmother called 911. Watch:

Just downright embarrassing. But maybe the bad publicity is just what needed to happen to get the city to consider making some serious adjustments to the list of issues they deem important — because shutting down lemonade stands and hurting kids’ feelings in the process should not be one of them.

Even more infuriating about this story is the fact that the little girl, who puts up her $1/cup lemonade stand every year (outside of last year’s, which had to be put off due to the pandemic), usually donates part of her profits to … the local homeless shelter.

Not surprisingly, no one from the city has responded to requests from local and national news outlets for an interview, presumably because of “priorities” and stuff.

Flashback: Iowa Family Donates $10 Elizabeth Warren Spent at Their Lemonade Stand to Pro-Life Movement