It’s time for some outdoor refreshment.

The Defiance outdoor refreshment area (DORA) kicks off today in downtown Defiance. The district allows alcoholic beverages — served in special cups by downtown businesses — to be consumed in a designated public area.

“There will be a lot of opportunities to come downtown and try out the district,” said Kirstie Mack, executive director of the Downtown Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau. “The weather looks to be good (today).”

This afternoon and evening, individuals can enjoy the DORA district first with the farmer’s market from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Triangle Park and then with Music in the Parks featuring the Diana Chittester Band from 7:30-9 p.m. at the park. There also is an organized walk set in the DORA region today.

Those interested in using the DORA district can go into any licensed establishment and purchase a clear 16-ounce DORA cup with alcohol. Once the cup/drink is purchased, the customer must leave the establishment. Individuals can walk around the DORA district with the cup. The cups are for one-time use only (no refills) and must be thrown away after use, per Ohio Revised Code. Individuals may not bring a DORA cup into an establishment that sells alcohol. Stores will be marked with DORA symbols to help guide patrons.

DORA hours are from noon-midnight Monday through Saturday. All DORA cups must be disposed of by 1 a.m. each day.

“There are a few rules to follow (for DORA),” Mack said. “Maps (of the DORA region) will be available on our website and there will be some information. We’ll have frequently asked questions on the website soon.”

Go to visitdefianceohio.com and click on DORA for more information.

Mack said it is hoped the district will bring additional “walk-ability options” downtown with more people going to stores and visiting the downtown area.

The Defiance City Council passed the legislation for the DORA district unanimously in May. The 96.55-acre district goes from the Maumee River on the north to Don Miller Drive to the south. It is irregularly shaped and includes areas between the Auglaize River and Jackson Avenue as well. On the west side of the district, the southern limit is Fifth Street, with Third Street being the eastern limit.

“Signs (marking the DORA district) will be put on the major outskirt boundaries, mostly at the intersections, soon,” Mack said. “They are big blue signs that say ‘no alcohol beyond this point’ with the DORA logo.”

To help celebrate the DORA district, the DDVB is working to partner with different organizations and events to utilize the district.

On Saturday, the 400 block of Clinton Street will be closed with Miami & Erie Restaurant and Lounge providing live music starting at 7 p.m. The first entertainer will be David Carpenter, followed by the band Hot N Nasty.

The district also will be in full swing with Buskerfest from 6-10 p.m. July 26-27. There will be food trucks, musicians and additional downtown businesses open.

“There will be continual activities planned around DORA downtown,” Mack said. “We’re had other organizations ask how they can partner with DORA, so we’re looking at additional 5Ks and other activities.”

She added that the DORA district brings with it a lot of opportunities for downtown.

“It’s going to be an exciting thing for the Defiance community and those visiting the Defiance County to be part of,” Mack said.

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