Salmon Arm's new outdoor shopping plaza could include public drinking in future | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Salmon Arm's new outdoor shopping plaza could include public drinking in future

June 24, 2020 - 4:30 PM

The City of Salmon Arm is closing Alexander Street to vehicle traffic on Saturdays starting next month to allow vendors to sell their wares.

City council voted in favour this week of turning the street into a shopping plaza on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting July 4, according to Mayor Alan Harrison.

“We’re really encouraging everyone to come out,” Harrison said. “We need open spaces for people to be able to walk around and shop safely and at the same time it’s an economic boost for our downtown area when there’s not a lot of tourists.”

Council also requested more information from the Downtown Salmon Arm Business Improvement Association, which proposed allowing local breweries and wineries to set up booths on the street.

“While we favour that, we think it’s a good idea, and they can do that even now for tasting, but people can’t drink their products on the street so we asked Downtown Salmon Arm to give us some more information just about licensing and how it might work," the mayor said. “We want more details before we say yes to that.”

The plaza will compliment the Salmon Arm Farmers' Market, which will happen in cooperation with the Saturday plaza so residents will be able to visit each, Harrison said.

READ MORE: Glass of wine or beer with dinner on the beach? It's an idea making its way around B.C.

Downtown Salmon Arm manager Lindsay Wong said the association will be looking at other municipalities that have approved alcohol use in public spaces like in Penticton and North Vancouver, to provide recommendations on how alcohol use in Alexander Plaza will look like.

Wong noted that it may be possible to have alcohol in Alexander Plaza before summer’s end, but it depends on the board’s direction and on information requested from city council.

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