Cocktail to go: ‘Shockoe Illuminates’ event to allow open containers


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As you get into the holiday spirit at the Shockoe Illuminates event on Friday, you’ll be able to sip your spirits in public.

The entire 17th Street Market area will be open container for the event. In other words, you don’t have to enjoy a drink just inside the bar — you’ll be able to grab your cocktail to go.

“One of the first in the state and definitely the first in Richmond. You’ll be able to carry a drink out of a restaurant provided it’s in a disposable cup,” David Napier, President of the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association, said about the new open container ability.

Open containers will be limited to the 17th Street Market area. However, you’ll be free to walk around the plaza with a beverage in hand and take in the market festivities and more than 20 holiday vendors.

It’s similar to the Richmond Night Market, which runs every second Saturday, but with some new additions.

“We got Santa, we got some carriage rides … we will have a whole Christmas market experience,” Napier said.

When 8News asked if the event will be family-friendly with open containers, Napier said, “Yes, we are not trying to be the French Quarter down here. The whole idea of this market is to bring families back downtown.”

In a statement, Richmond Police said they have “extensive experience” providing resources to these types of events.

“The Department is aware of the upcoming event on Friday that features a zone where patrons can walk throughout the 17th Street Market with alcoholic beverages purchased from local restaurants. We will schedule an appropriate number of officers to the event.

The Department has extensive experience providing officers to events such as this – including past beer festivals at this same location that offered similar space for patrons to walk with beverages.”

Richmond Police Department

Most people 8News spoke to were all for it.

“There is a lot of great bars and it just kind of adds to the fun and it doesn’t restrict you as much,” Richmonder Jackie Broyer told 8News.

Yet, some stressed they wouldn’t want it every day.

“I think it is a great thing just for a holiday event, maybe not something to do all the time, but a one-time thing controlled for a celebration … I think it would be nice,” Richmonder Shelby Shillingburg said.

If all goes well, the market will be able to have open container events 12 times a year.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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