Popular Downtown Festival District to Continue on Friday Nights Thru August 23

Downtown Festival District MapDue to the popularity and success of Champaign’s Downtown Festival District held earlier this year, Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Deborah Frank Feinen has extended the designation to occur on Friday nights throughout the summer.  The parts of Downtown Champaign included in the Downtown Festival District remains unchanged and the designation will be in place from 5:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday evenings from June 28 through August 23, 2019.  The Festival District designations coincide with the popular Friday Night Live events held throughout the summer.

“We tested out this new concept to see how it would work and it went really well,” said Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen.  “Our residents and visitors enjoyed the option to order a drink then move around on the sidewalk to listen to the various bands and talk with their friends.  The public has taken advantage of the Festival District in a responsible manner, so, I have decided to move forward and expand the Downtown Festival District designation for the remaining Friday Night Live events throughout this summer.”

Customers of participating restaurants and bars are able to purchase then consume open containers of alcohol on public property located within the boundaries of the Downtown Festival District.  Licensed establishments electing to participate in this event provide wristbands and serve alcoholic beverages in paper or plastic “to-go” cups to those customers who wish to 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 marked with signage and are shown on the attached map.

Section 5-62.2 of the City’s Liquor Ordinance allows the Liquor Commissioner to designate a Downtown Festival District and outlines 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.

Media Contact: Matt Roeschley, Deputy Liquor Commissioner | 217-403-8710