MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Milledgeville's First Friday is a time for Downtown businesses to showcase their goods, and now people can enjoy them with a drink thanks to a new open container law passed by the city council on Tuesday.
The law allows for alcoholic beverages to leave establishments as long as their restricted to the sidewalk and public right of ways and in a clear plastic container up to 16 ounces.
Janey McDade was enjoying a meal with her husband on Wednesday and said she wouldn't mind open containers during the city's mini festival.
"I think on First Fridays that would be a good idea. It would bring more people out to the events," McDade said.
That's the idea according to Main Street and Downtown Development Authority Executive Director, Carlee Schulte. The authority is hoping for additional visitors to the monthly First Friday Festival and said the new law will give visitors some flexibility.
"It's just an opportunity to hopefully encourage some additional people to come downtown and helps people to move from place to place instead of stopping and staying at one," Schulte said.
Open alcohol must be purchased from festival vendors and is restricted to the square where First Friday activities are being held. The Development Authority said that both visitors and businesses have been asking for an adjusted open container law for a long time.
"'Can I come outside with this?' or 'Can I go and listen to the band with this?' and I have to tell them no," Schulte said. "So this will be nice to just give them that opportunity to take it and go."
Although open containers will be allowed public intoxication will not be tolerated. Milledgeville Mayor Mary Parham-Copelan said that open alcohol will run through the rest of 2019, but the council reserves the right to review the law change if drinking gets out of hand.