Fargo law approved to allow public drinking at downtown events

FARGO - A law allowing public drinking at certain downtown events got final approval from city leaders Monday night, June 18. The law creates a new liquor license issued only to the Downtown Community Partnership for vendors participating in the ...
Old Broadway and Fort Noks in downtown Fargo on Friday, April 13, 2018. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO – A law allowing public drinking at certain downtown events got final approval from city leaders Monday night, June 18.

The law creates a new liquor license issued only to the Downtown Community Partnership for vendors participating in the group's events. The group has said it wants to use the license for its Street Fair, which this year will be held July 19-21, and, eventually, the Corks & Canvas art walk series.

The vote was 4-1 Monday, with City Commissioner Tony Gehrig casting the dissenting vote. He earlier said he wants the license to be open to events throughout the city, not just downtown.

The law will expire by year’s end thanks to a sunset clause city leaders inserted, making it a kind of pilot project. This was meant to satisfy concerns expressed by some downtown businesses that public drinking would only exacerbate drunkenness and other problems the neighborhood has faced.