Red Deerians take advantage of a sunny Saturday to have lunch on the Ross Street Patio. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deerians take advantage of a sunny Saturday to have lunch on the Ross Street Patio. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer’s Ross Street Patio gets initial approval to become an Entertainment District

No alcohol will be able to be consumed at the Cenotaph

The Ross Street Patio is getting set to be an “Entertainment District” — although alcoholic cannot be consumed at the Cenotaph.

Red Deer city council gave initial approval on Monday to the patio area becoming an Entertainment District — a designated public area where adults can consume alcohol outside of a licensed premises while enjoying a variety of entertainment.

But Coun. Bruce Buruma said he would be troubled to see people drinking beer while sitting on the steps of the Ross Street Cenotaph. The monument to soldiers lost in the Two World Wars and other conflicts since is right next to the patio.

“It’s a significant… important place and I would not like to see that,” Buruma said.

Engineering Services manager Konrad Dunbar assured him that the Entertainment District’s boundaries would exclude the Cenotaph.

Coun. Cindy Jefferies questioned the proposed 5 p.m. start of operations on Friday and Saturday.

Considering the alcohol rules would kick on at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, because of the Downtown Farmer’s Market, she said an earlier start might be desired by restaurant owners on the weekends as well.

Dunbar agreed to consult with impacted businesses and make changes if needed.

Council heard that Entertainment Districts provide opportunities for municipalities to revitalize neighbourhoods, drive tourism, and support small and local businesses. The bylaw will come back to council on June 20 for final approval.

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