Summer nights at the bandshell just got a lot more interesting!

Ahead of concert season at the bandshell and Tuesday night food truck rallies, the City of Plainwell made an exciting new announcement.

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I actually didn't realize Plainwell, Michigan didn't already have a social district-- did they?

via Google Earth
Plainwell, Michigan via Google Earth

What Is A 'Social District'?

Despite the idea having been around for ages social districts didn't really seem to be common place until the pandemic hit! A perfect way to "socially distance" the purpose of a social district is this: a public, open space where people can gather and enjoy the outdoors while also consuming alcohol.

Say you want to grab a craft cocktail from your favorite local watering hole and do some window shopping? You can do that! Want to take a couple cold brews down by the waterfront as the sun sets? You can do that too!

Like I said it's nothing new but it's novel and, most importantly, it's legal now.  On May 2, 2024 the City of Plainwell shared the big news on social media writing,

Enjoy a drink while attending the Concerts at the Bandshell or Tueday Night Food Truck Rallies; during the Island City Festival and any of the other special events downtown; or just grab a drink to enjoy by the River in Fannie Pell Park or Hicks Park...Alcoholic Drinks may be purchased from 10th Street Saloon and enjoyed [in] Downtown Plainwell

For now, the only participating venue in Plainwell is the 10th Street Saloon but I hope others like Joe's Pizza and the Old Mill will join the list. There are a few rules regarding the Social District, as to be expected, including:

  • Staying within boundary limits
  • You can't bring your own alcohol
  • You can't refill your own cup
  • Do not take social district cups into venues other than where you purchased it
  • Only bring drinks inside participating shops

Pretty standard stuff, really! Again, I'm not sure if this is something they did in the past or if Plainwell is finally getting with the times; even Holland, Michigan has a social district now-- that's how popular they are.

Here's how Plainwell locals reacted to the news:

  • "Sure, why not. Because we all know alcohol doesn't bring out the crazies that can't control their drinking so why not allow it in public." - Kevin Nickerson
  • "Why is there only one participating establishment?" - Shannon Thor

Farmers' Markets Across SW Michigan Open For 2024 Season:

A sure sign of summer, here's where you can buy your fresh produce, baked goods, farm-raised meats, and crafts across SWMI this season!

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

Vintage Photos of Plainwell: 1800s-1940s

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