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Arkansas city approves state’s first entertainment district

June 24, 2019

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) — A northern Arkansas city has approved the state’s first downtown entertainment district where people will be allowed to drink alcohol while wandering around.

Mountain Home City Council voted 5-3 on Thursday to open the district on July 24, the Baxter Bulletin reported.

Now, people in the district can walk around the entertainment district between 4:30 p.m. and midnight with alcohol in branded plastic cups purchased at restaurants and bars in the district. The cups cannot exceed 16 fluid ounces (473 milliliters).

It’s still illegal for district patrons to possess an open can, bottle or glass container of alcohol. Also, it’s illegal for entertainment district patrons to drink alcohol inside a parked vehicle.

The introduction of the change isn’t expected to cause major problems, police said.

“I can probably say to expect a problem here and there, but I don’t see it as something we can’t handle,” Police Chief Carry Manue said.

Mayor Hillrey Adams said an advisory committee will help supervise the activities of the entertainment district. Businesses or organizations interested in holding public events downtown would need to acquire approval from the committee. Any alcohol vendors are still required to receive the appropriate state Alcohol Beverage Control Board permits and licenses.

Certain government-owned properties like the Baxter County Courthouse, Mountain Home City Hall, Hickory Park or the Veterans Plaza are also excluded from the entertainment district.

Mountain Home is the first city in the state to take advantage of a legislation that was passed earlier this year allowing the formation of such entertainment districts. El Dorado, Fayetteville and Little Rock are considering forming similar districts.

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Information from: The Baxter Bulletin, http://www.baxterbulletin.com

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