It has officially been announced: The Village of Providence, located in west Huntsville, is the home of the city's newest Arts & Entertainment District. The Huntsville City Council unanimously approved the Village of Providence Arts & Entertainment District during its regular meeting on October 10.
The Village of Providence district is the latest implementation of the State's new open container legislation. That legislation was designed to develop cultural districts where street performers, block parties, concerts, live art demonstrations, art strolls, outdoor movies and more can occur in the Village of Providence Arts & Entertainment District. Events and entertainment will showcase the arts in Huntsville while supporting restaurants and bars as they participate in the new district by serving drinks "to-go."
A release by town officials explained the district will begin with a 90-day soft roll out on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 4 - 10 p.m., Friday evenings from 4 to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. During those times, patrons may purchase a beverage at one of the participating establishments, and stroll through the Village of Providence Arts & Entertainment District.
"The Village of Providence is a natural fit for the next entertainment district. This is a premier traditional neighborhood that was built around the concept of walking from destination to destination; and we're thrilled that this new district allows us to elevate the experience in the Village to another level," said David Slyman, a Village of Providence town founder.
"Our small business owners here in the Village overwhelmingly support this proposal. They realize that it could be a benefit to their bottom lines," he added.
The Village of Providence was long-thought to be the next Arts & Entertainment District in Huntsville. The city's two other districts, the Quigley and Meridian, are both located in Huntsville's downtown area.
Business owners and residents alike praised the City of Huntsville officials that worked to bring the newest Arts & Entertainment District to the Village of Providence.
"The City has done everything it can to be thoughtful and respectful to its residents and business owners with these districts. We've worked to be thorough in our plans and believe this is the best plan for the Village of Providence, the City of Huntsville and our patrons," Slyman said.
"We communicated with our residents and businesses on a regular basis. A huge majority of both groups wanted to see this happen and realize the potential it brings to the businesses, to their neighborhood experience and to the City's sales tax revenue. We want to thank Mayor Battle, his administration, the Huntsville City Council, and especially Councilman Will Culver for their work in getting this done."
The Village of Providence is represented by Will Culver on the Huntsville City Council. Culver introduced the ordinance for the Village of Providence Arts and Entertainment District at the September 26, 2013 meeting of the Huntsville City Council.
Sidewalk markings showing the district boundaries are expected to be painted in the next few days and a map of the district, which is limited to the commercial and mixed use areas on or around Providence Main Street, are available on the City of Huntsville and Village of Providence websites.
The Village of Providence has wasted no time in putting the new district to use, announcing that the first official event in the new district will be the Providence Pink Party benefitting the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run on October 19, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
The Providence Pink Party is a celebration for the supporters and participants of the 10th Annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run held downtown earlier that day. Live music, entertainment and a celebration of the event will culminate with the coloring of the Providence fountain pink for breast cancer awareness.