Festival event faces First Amendment issues

The crowd enjoys food, music and fun inside a temporary festival district established in downtown Jefferson City for the "Thursday Night Live" beach party event in June.

The crowd enjoys food, music and fun inside a temporary festival district established in downtown Jefferson City for the "Thursday Night Live" beach party event in June. Photo by Deborah Cote.

Organizers of the “Thursday Night Live” Festival District point to growing attendance numbers showing how Jefferson City’s “special events” ordinance allowing open containers on city streets brought more people downtown.

But some dog owners, with their pets on leashes as required by city ordinance, and some people who wanted to circulate petitions, were asked to leave the downtown festivities.

Interim City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus said those situations “deserve further review” as city officials consider creating another Festival District ordinance.

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