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Council hears proposal for entertainment district, open container zone

The Magnolia City Council heard a proposal from Ellie Baker to establish an entertainment district in town during their regular monthly meeting Monday.

Baker, who is the executive director of economic development for the City of Magnolia, said the entertainment district would allow businesses within the district to sell alcoholic beverages in specific cups, allowing patrons to wander throughout the district with their drinks.

Baker said many people believe that entertainment districts help cities be seen as more hospitable. El Dorado, in neighboring Union County, added an entertainment district/open container zone downtown in 2019.

She also said Magnolia Police Chief Todd Dew told her he approves of the idea of an entertainment district but would like to add an extra officer to patrol the district should it be put into place.

The district would likely contain businesses in the center of the Square and also include The Square Park and a small part of Main Street east of The Square to North Madison Street.

The glasses used would likely be provided to businesses by the Chamber of Commerce and would help bring in revenue for the Chamber and the Advertising and Promotion Commission according to Baker.

Council member Steve Nipper said he approved of the idea, noting that he and Mayor Parnell Vann had discussed creating one in the past.

Baker said ideas about the district are welcome as nothing has been decided yet.

The Council on Monday agreed to discuss possible guidelines for an entertainment district in Magnolia to be considered in the future.

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