ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – At 11:00 a.m. Friday, the Designated Outdoor Recreation Area in downtown Roanoke went into effect for the first time this summer.
“I liked how Go Fest went last year, I think it was super successful, just an extra cool thing for downtown. So we’re excited to be a part of it,” said Kevin Young, general manager of Jack Brown’s Roanoke.
There is clear signage as to where the zone begins and ends, which includes Market Street, Wall Street and portions of Campbell Avenue. As the day started there were many people enjoying being able to hop around.
“It’s cool to be able to walk around,” said Carly Almarez.
“I think it can be a great opportunity for people to socialize and see the city a little bit more. Rather than just finding that one facility, sitting down and settling down for the evening, they can actually help the city come alive,” said Stephen Smigielski.
More than a dozen restaurants are participating. The residents are happy that they can bring more foot traffic to the city center overall.
“Here we have an opportunity to have a great time, enjoy a drink with your family or friends, walk around and enjoy some more local shops,” Smigielski said.
“If you can incorporate another activity like exploring your local businesses, it’s just a win-win for everyone,” Almarez said.
With an 11am to 8pm time slot, there’s also a sense that people will be enjoying it responsibly.
“We want everyone to have a good time, but we want everyone to be safe, so I think that’s a good timeframe,” Young said.
It’s important to remember that your plastic cup must be clearly labeled with the restaurant you bought it from and you cannot take a drink from one restaurant to another.
The refreshment zone runs Friday through Sunday through July 31st. Residents wishing to shop in the zone drink in hand should ensure each shop is ok with this before venturing out.
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