More DORAs due

Columbiana receives two new requests for special events

COLUMBIANA — The number of groups wanting to take advantage of the city’s popular DORA program continues to grow.

Two more applications for community events seeking a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area were received and approved at this week’s City Council meeting. A DORA allows for the open carry of alcoholic beverages during specific events and sets hours within a designated part of the downtown.

The law went into effect earlier this year and council has already approved four DORAs before this week’s meeting, two of which have already been held.

The latest group seeking a DORA are Lori Everly and CJ Dickman representing Artisans Building Community, which received permission to hold an arts festival on Sept. 14. The group’s Facebook page describes the Arts Tour of Columbiana as a “one day ‘pop up’ art gallery event held at Birdfish Brewing, Generations Cafe and Sundog Cellars …”

Everly said Dickman’s group was behind the highly successful art festival held in neighboring Salem several years ago. They are still in the process of lining up artists and related vendors for the event, and Everly does not know how many people the event will draw, but it could be significant.

“People ask me how many people to expect. I don’t know, but at the Salem event it was packed,” she said.

The event is to be held from 4-8 p.m., but council suggested extending the end time to 9 p.m. and cutting off serving drinks at 8 p.m. This eliminates participants obtaining a drink just as the event is to officially close.

Shawn Sweeney from A Moveable Feast received approval for a DORA to be held in conjunction with Birdfish Brewing from noon to 9 p.m. July 27. Sweeney, who operates a food truck, said the block will be closed off and there will be entertainment for the family in addition to at least one other food truck. Live bands will be performing throughout the day at Birdfish.

Council member Crystal Siembida-Boggs was concerned about South Main Street being closed for such an extended period and the inconvenience it posed to motorists.

“We definitely need to think about the people and having a street shut down for that period,” she said.

Officials pointed out traffic would be closed off from for one block, from Friend Street to the town square, and motorists can easily navigate their way around it.

Siembida-Boggs also wondered if the village police department would incur any overtime in monitoring the event, and Chief Tim Gladis said he does not anticipate having to assign additional officers to work the event.

Council approved both DORA applications by 4-0 votes, with Siembida-Boggs and Dan Bekar abstaining. Both have voiced opposition in the past about legislation allowing for DORAs, citing concerns how alcohol consumption would be policed and about sending the wrong message to local youths.

Council member Skip Liston pointed out after every DORA event they intend to reviews how things went with Gladis, and they have yet to hear anything negative following the first two. Gladis said both events have gone smoothly, with no major problems.

“I can’t think of a better way, or set up, to bring people downtown,” Liston said.

Council also agreed to extend a DORA for the Chalk on Main Festival. The event is scheduled for Aug. 24-25 and the DORA was originally only for Aug. 24, but Greg Snyder from Columbiana Alive at 5 asked the DORA also be extended to the second day.