Fifteen Minutes: Why So Blue?
It's no secret that living in the commonwealth of Massachusetts does not always lend itself to spontaneity. Thanks to the ingenuity of the pious, not-so-fun Puritan founders of the Commonwealth, both residents and tourists looking for a full evening of after-hours festivities often find it difficult to fill their dance cards without planning ahead.
As the unlucky proprietor of the annoyingly ancient "Blue Laws," Massachusetts has yet to repeal these laws responsible for early Sunday closings, the ban on alcohol sales after 10:45 p.m., the closing of liquor stores on Sundays and the closing of bars at 2 a.m.
Originally written in 1650 and distributed in blue-paper covers, these dreaded "blue laws" have actually been infringing on people's recreational fun for over 300 years. Punishing anything from idleness to colorful clothing to the breaking of Sabbath codes, these laws were also known as the bloody laws or the black and blue laws, which referred to the punishments doled out when the laws were broken.
Back in the 17th century, when the only legitimate Sunday excursion was a trip to church, the rules did not seem so unreasonable. However, as times began to change, the laws did not and numerous conflicts began to arise surrounding both the absence of after-hours entertainment and the loss of revenues due to mandatory Sunday closings.
Although there does remain a die hard resident contingency, who all find a certain type of charm in a common day of rest, they seem to be a dying breed. Current economic growth has prompted many government officials to reconsider the relevancy of the laws and begin work towards keeping the bars open until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. every weekend.
However, until that day comes a warning to the wise is as follows, plan ahead because a spur of the moment party can be left high and dry in this Puritan state.