Knoxville ordinance to allow alcoholic drinks in ‘Downtown Festival District’ passes first reading

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The city council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday night to create a “Downtown Festival District” that would allow attendees to have open alcoholic drinks on public property.

Tuesday night’s city council meeting was the ordinance’s first reading.

The ordinance amends Knoxville city code that had prohibited the consumption of alcohol on public streets, sidewalks and spaces; now, changes will be made to create a “Downtown Festival District” within a city Festival Event Area — that will ultimately allow possession and consumption of alcoholic drinks during events.

PREVIOUS STORY: Knoxville city council to discuss creation of ‘Downtown Festival District’ for open alcoholic beverages

The Festival Event Area has been designated by the city as existing within a portion of the Central Business Improvement District (CBID). This area includes Market Square, along with parts of Market Street, Union Avenue and Gay Street.

The ordinance only passed its first reading Tuesday. The council will hold subsequent readings at future council meetings that may include testimony or other actions before a final on the ordinance. We’ll continue to follow its progress.

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