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Our Opinion: Encouraging start for festival district

Our Opinion: Encouraging start for festival district

June 7th, 2011 in News

Progress frequently results from experimentation.

A time-honored form of experimentation is the trial-and-error method, which calls for an experiment to abandon, alter or keep, depending on its outcome.

A festival district was approved on a trial basis by the Jefferson City Council, and its first installment was Thursday evening in the downtown area.

Based on the outcome of the experiment, the initial results indicate success.

The festival district establishes parameters and permits people to of legal drinking age to consume alcoholic beverages on the streets within those confines.

The beverages must be purchased from vendors within the district. The drinks are identified by color-coded cups and the purchasers are identified by color-coded wristbands.

The festival-district concept was unveiled at the most recent Thursday Night Live, an event held in the downtown area during summer.

The motivation for the festival district was to increase participation by increasing flexibility and mobility of social drinking during an outdoor event. Thursday Night Live, for example, includes live music, activities and demonstrations.

Concerns about the district included possibilities of underage drinking or intoxicated behavior. These are not idle fears. Drunken behavior has plagued events in other communities designed to be family oriented.

Any new experiment must be monitored closely, and Jefferson City police commendably kept close watch on the initial festival district activities.

"There were no reported problems," observed police Capt. Doug Shoemaker. "My evening shift lieutenant said all went well

The community experiment can succeed as long as everyone insists on and engages in civil and social behavior.