Wichita All-America City Party Launched Entertainment District Event

By: Caroline Brady Email
By: Caroline Brady Email
Photo blurry because it was a hand-held time exposure

Photo blurry because it was a hand-held time exposure

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Go Wichita and Wichita Downtown Development Corp. joined the City of Wichita in an Old Town celebration Friday night.

The party which began at 6pm and lasted until 9 p.m., was in celebration of Wichita's fourth AAC honor (1961, 1993, 1999 and 2009). It was the city's first Entertainment District event. The Entertainment District, a result of a state law passed during the 2009 Kansas legislative session, allows outdoor drinking on a public property at permitted events.

Brett Harris of B-98 Radio emceed the event. Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy, a bluegrass band, and Mid Life Crisis, a classic rock cover band, performed. Warren Theatres providing a limited number of free movie passes and Hiland Dairy provided free ice cream.

Mayor Carl Brewer, Wichita City Council members, elected officials from across the state and representatives from partnering organizations attended.

The City of Wichita won its fourth AAC honor during the National Civic League competition on June 19 in Tampa, where it competed against 28 other finalist cities. The honor recognizes cities that demonstrate great strides in civic engagement and collaborative solutions to city challenges.

Wichita's projects included:
1) Opportunity Drive, a multipurpose learning and recreation campus;
2) Visioneering Wichita, a regional planning initiative and
3) Mennonite Housing Rehabilitation Services, which aims to build affordable homes for low-income families.

On July 14, the City Council approved the All-America City Street Party permit, designating the Old Town area of Mead Street from 2nd Street to Moore Street and Moore Street from 2nd Street to Mead. Under the legislation, local governments have the authority to adopt rules and regulations that reflect the community's needs. The City of Wichita adopted its enabling ordinances last month.

"As the 50th largest city in the United States, we are in a competition with other urban communities such as Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Fort Worth, all of whom actively seek to create a social environment that is attractive to a young, progressive demographic," Mayor Brewer testified before a legislative committee. "We firmly believe that proper regulation, licensing and oversight will ensure a responsible use of this opportunity. Large urban environments such as Wichita require the option of self-regulation to meet the needs and expectations of our population."

Streets closed during the event were:
• Mead Street, 2nd Street to Moore Street;
• Moore Street, 2nd Street to Mead Street.


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