Fargo City Commission Backs Plan to Allow Drinking At Downtown Events

The Downtown Community Partnership hopes to have the changes in place by the 2018 Street Fair in July

FARGO, N.D. — Fargo City commissioners are on board to allow drinking alcohol in public at events like the Street Fair and Cork and Canvas Art Walk in downtown Fargo.

The Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) may be trying to change the liquor ordinance in downtown Fargo, but even they say safety is of the utmost importance.

“We want to make sure we do it right and have the correct partners when we do implement this and making sure that the police is on board, the zone is specifically noted and that we are not known as a party destination,” said Melissa Rademacher, DCP president and CEO. 

Instead, the goal is to create a safe, family-friendly experience.
If the change is made to the ordinance, it would allow public drinking only during events such as the Street Fair or Cork and Canvas Art Walk.

“What we’re finding in conversations with bars and restaurants and retailers is that when we close down those streets, people are just walking up and down the street but not coming into their establishments,” Rademacher said. 

Rosey’s Bistro is just one of the restaurants on Broadway ready to see the change in the ordinance.

“It just brings us up to the level of other major cities, New Orleans, New York, Toronto, Vancouver. I mean every other city you go to that has outdoor affairs and festivals, you can have a beer while you’re walking around looking at things,” said Granville Wood, with Rosey’s Bistro.

In fact, Wood says it could even help tourism in Fargo.

“It is a highlight, we have some really good things happening. I think it could be a real feature of what makes Fargo so cool,” Wood said.

However, no one would be allowed to bring their own liquor.

“The purpose to drive people into restaurants and bars that are existing down here, enjoy the drink of their choice and be able to bring it out onto the street during select events. We do not want people to bring their own alcohol from outside. That is not the purpose of this ordinance change,” Rademacher said. 

Downtown Community Partnership officials say they hope to have the new changes in place by the 2018 Street Fair in July.

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