DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – We’ve been telling you about Huntsville’s new entertainment district. But there’s another valley city trying out the very same idea. Decatur throws a street party on the third Friday of the month nine months of the year. This is the second such event since the city opened it’s own arts and entertainment district.
There were actually two street parties in Decatur Friday night. Along Second Avenue, merchants have opened their doors and sidewalks to allow for customers to come and go at will. Earlier, there was a dog parade. And then the live music got underway.
Meanwhile, in the older and historic downtown district, another street party. This area featured a cruise-in for unique cars and hot rods, plus two separate stages each featuring live music.
“You know, we have a band here, we’ve got a band on the other end down there. We have bands in different sections of the thing,” cruise-in promoter Bruce King says. “We’re down about 5 blocks. Tonight, we’ve got about 175 cars here. It’s the biggest night we’ve had and looking forward, we hope it grows more,” he added.
The notion of having open containers of beer or mixed drinks also seems to be a growing favorite. There is a police presence but so far there have been no problems.
“It’s working out great,” according to Wally Terry, Decatur’s Economic & Community Development Director. He adds, “Our merchants are responsible, they understand what needs to be done to keep it family oriented. So we’re doing that. We’ve had extended hours and we will probably over time make different changes to improve it. But right now we’re extremely pleased with the out turn.”
Terry says it’s been a win-win for everyone thus far. More people in town, more customers. More money in the registers means more tax revenue, and more entertainment opportunities.
There are restrictions on the open containers. They’re allowed on the street, within the district, from 4 PM until 1 AM on Mondays through Thursday, and from noon until 1 AM on weekends.