Entertainment District Future: Arts Council & City Leaders Brainstorming

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The downtown Huntsville Arts and Entertainment Districts are still on track to continue this fall. That’s according to a group of city leaders that met today to discuss the challenges and benefits of the districts.

“It’s been exciting to see that uptick in street life and street liveliness and an increased vibrancy downtown,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, Executive Director of the Arts Council.

It’s not a secret that The Quigley and the Meridian District have proven to be a success this summer. But what happens now that summer is starting to fade? “We are still in talks with our community partners, those who fund us, the City of Huntsville, downtown businesses, to really determine what programming we want to see in the district moving forward,” she said.

The Arts Council’s orchestrated programming is scheduled to end soon. “We’re actually not sure what types of arts programming we’ll see on the streets after September 27th,” said Dillon-Jauken, “But we would hope to see some continue through daylight savings hours.”

Huntsville City Councilman Mark Russell said the open container ordinance and entertainment districts aren’t just a seasonal thing. “Certainly we are going to continue it,” he said. “We’re about to review our 90 day period, we’re going to listen to constituents, we’re going to listen to the bar owners, and I predict that we’ll open it up on Saturday, we may have later hours on Thursday and Friday.”

Gloves and a cold drink. It’s not necessarily ideal, but you’d like to have the option, right?

“The ordinance will continue,” said Russell. “Now, whether people want to come downtown in December and walk around with a drink, it’ll be up to them, but I think it will be great, I think people will enjoy looking at Christmas decorations and things like that.”

The 90 day review period ends on September 20. The City of Huntsville has been evaluating the districts since they opened and are discussing the best options for expanding days and times as we move into October.

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