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Du Quoin organizers seek downtown closure for event

  • 'I want this thing to work,' Mayor Guy Alongi said of plans to hold the downtown farm-to-table dinner this June.

    'I want this thing to work,' Mayor Guy Alongi said of plans to hold the downtown farm-to-table dinner this June.
    Photo by Geoffrey Ritter

 
BY GEOFFREY RITTER
gritter@localsouthernnews.com
Posted on 3/29/2017, 5:33 AM

A downtown city block in Du Quoin could close for one evening this June for a special farm-to-table dinner event that would set up in the middle of Main Street.

Abby Ancell, general manager and owner of St. Nicholas Brewing Company, addressed the Du Quoin City Council Monday night about the planned event, which she said is being tentatively planned for the night of Thursday, June 15.

She said organizers would like to close down an block of Main Street from 3 to 10 p.m. that evening. The precise block has not yet been determined. The event would bring those in attendance together for a meal of locally sourced foods.

"We have a lot of small farms around here," Ancell told the city's commissioners.

Commissioner Dale Spencer expressed concerns that closing down a city block would disrupt nearby businesses, and he implored Ancell and organizers to reach out to business owners ahead of time and figure out how to work with them. Concerns also arose regarding organizers' intention to sell alcohol at the event, which would require temporary liquor licenses from both the city and the state. Ancell said the Chamber of Commerce would be operating the event and would take responsibility for obtaining any required licenses, but Mayor Guy Alongi urged organizers to obtain those quickly if they want to move ahead with the event.

Alongi said that if they take care of that, city leaders likely would approve the plan to close the downtown block.

"I want this thing to work," Alongi said.

Further discussion is expected at a future council meeting.