Middletown to extend outdoor drinking hours for ‘Saint Paddy’s Day Beer Crawl’

St. Patrick’s Day will start a day earlier in Middletown as the hours of operation for the city’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) will be flexed earlier on Saturday, March 16.

Middletown City Council Tuesday approved the expanded hours to accommodate the special event in downtown Middletown. On March 16, the DORA hours will be from 8 a.m. to midnight.

MORE: Outdoor drinking to start earlier for St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Middletown

The usual DORA hours are from noon to midnight, every day of the week. The city’s DORA ordinance allows accommodations for special events if recommended by the police chief.

In his recommendation to council, police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said Downtown Middletown, Inc., and the permit holders located in the DORA locations will hold the “Saint Paddy’s Day Beer Crawl.”

“They believe this will encourage the community to come to the area earlier than usual, and to stay later, thus promoting commerce in the downtown area,” he said.

MORE: New year brings new cups, wristbands to Middletown DORA district

This is the third year that the city expanded the DORA hours for St. Patrick’s Day events downtown.

Starting Jan. 1, bar patrons have been charged $1 for a wristband that allows them to take their alcoholic beverages outside within the city’s DORA district. Those consuming an alcoholic beverage without the dated wristband or DORA cup could be cited for having an open container.

In late December 2015, downtown Middletown’s DORA district was the first authorized by the state of Ohio. Since then, Middletown officials said other Ohio cities have created their own DORA districts or have contacted Middletown officials for information and advice periodically.

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