As one of Worthington's largest annual events approaches, so does another chance for visitors to take advantage of the city's new outdoor alcohol policies.

The annual Market Day Festival, organized by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, is expected to draw 15,000 to 20,000 guests from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, according to executive director Kathryn Paugh.

High Street is closed to traffic for the festival and this year, residents will be able to carry open containers of alcohol between the Village Green and South Street, which also will be closed to vehicles.

In June, Worthington City Council approved legislation to create a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area.

The DORA establishes boundaries for patrons to walk with open containers of alcoholic beverages during specified times or events; the alcohol must be purchased at one of the establishments within the DORA.

The city's first DORA event was June's Picnic with the Partnership, which also included a closed High Street. The Worthington Division of Police reported virtually no difficulties in enforcing the DORA or the influence it had on guest behavior.

Though Paugh does not believe the new policies will affect Market Day, she admitted the DORA might be a draw for some.

"Market Day has something for everybody; it's a cradle-to-the-grave kind of multigenerational event enjoyed by everybody," she said. "So with some of the other activities involved on a nice fall afternoon, I'm sure there will be some people who enjoy that extra privilege."

Police Lt. Michael Holton said that although the designated area for Market Day would be a bit larger than Picnic with the Partnership, officers are not expecting difficulties.

"Our goal is that it will be just like it was at the picnic," Holton said. "As long as people stay within the DORA area and don't bring in outside alcohol or take it from one establishment to another, there should be no issues."

For more information, including parking and detour routes, visit worthington.org.

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