Mayor Deb Feinen has responded to feedback from residents who would like to be able to enjoy a beverage out and about while taking in events such as Friday Night Live. For this final installment, this Friday, August 24th from 5 to 9 p.m., you will be able to carry your beer around while you check out the FNL acts. There are some boundaries here, of course. There will be certain designated “Downtown Festival District” areas marked by signs. Alcohol must be purchased from participating restaurants and bars, and those establishments will also provide a wristband that must be worn.
I think this is a fantastic idea, and I hope that this run is successful therefore encouraging more designations in the future, particularly when the next season of Friday Night Live rolls around. See below for the full press release and the festival district map for Friday.
Downtown Festival District Designated in Champaign on August 24
Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Deborah Frank Feinen has designated parts of Downtown Champaign as a Festival District from 5:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday, August 24, 2018. Customers of participating restaurants and bars will be able to purchase and take open containers of alcohol from the licensed premises for consumption on public property located within the boundaries of the Festival District. This is the first designation of this type in Champaign and will coincide with the final Friday Night Live event of the season.
Downtown establishments electing to participate in this event will provide wristbands and serve alcoholic beverages in paper or plastic “to-go” cups to those customers who wish to enjoy the live music and consume alcohol on public property within the Festival District. Participants must purchase alcohol from a participating establishment and wear an official wristband in order to have open containers of alcohol on the public right-of-way. Residents are not allowed to bring alcohol purchased elsewhere into the Downtown Festival District. The boundaries of the Festival District will be delineated with signs and are shown on the attached map.
“We’ve received lots of requests from residents who want to responsibly consume alcohol while enjoying community festivals and public events in Downtown Champaign,” reports Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen. “When the City Council recently updated the City’s liquor ordinance, we included the ability to designate a Downtown Festival District to accommodate those who want to enjoy a cocktail while standing on the sidewalk and listening to some great music or partaking in other fun activities. I hope the Festival District will only enhance the experience of our residents and visitors as they enjoy a great night in Champaign’s vibrant downtown.”
Section 5-62.2 of the City’s Liquor Ordinance allows the Liquor Commissioner to designate a Downtown Festival District and sets the rules that participating establishments and customers must follow. More information about the Downtown Festival District, including a map and frequently asked questions are available on the City’s website: champaignil.gov/DowntownFestivalDistrict.
Photo by Sam Logan