By all accounts, the first test of Worthington's new Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area went off without a hitch.

The Old Worthington Partnership's Picnic with the Partnership on June 24 used the new DORA rules that establish boundaries for patrons to walk around with open containers of alcoholic beverages during specified times or events.

The alcohol must be purchased at one of the authorized establishments within the DORA.

Police and organizers reported no issues during the picnic, which shuts down High Street traffic between state Route 161 and South Street from 4 p.m. to midnight, replacing cars with tables.

Annina Parini, the partnership's executive director, said the new rules were a benefit for both patrons and High Street shop owners, who no longer had to deal with fences blocking them from the picnic.

"The new rules with the (DORA) really opened up the event so that people were able to circulate through the shops and get a drink from any of the places in the district," she said.

Sgt. James Moran with the Worthington Division of Police said the new DORA rules posed "no problem" and police "actually started sending officers home" once it got underway.

The DORA's presence was even more helpful after a beer tap in the beer garden broke early in the event.

Parini said patrons being able to carry around drinks purchased from DORA-permitted restaurants was helpful after the "minor snafu."

"There were so many other options, it turned out to be OK," she said.

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