Courts & Crime

Wichita lets hair down, thanks to law that allows public drinking

Hundreds of people crowded into Old Town Square on Friday night to celebrate the city's new All-America City status and take advantage of a new state law that allows drinking between venues.

By most accounts, the All-America City Party was a success.

"This is fun," said Chris Headrick of Newton, who was sipping margaritas with Steve Maus of El Dorado. "There's some really interesting people down here."

"I think it's a lot of fun," Maus said. "It reminds me of some of the other cities I've lived in."

The party was held in a temporary entertainment district that was established between Mead and Moore streets, and between Second Street and the Warren Old Town Theatre Grille.

Wristbands were distributed by participating restaurants and vendors to adults who wanted to drink alcohol.

Deputy Wichita Police Chief Tom Stolz said there were minor problems with enforcement — some misunderstandings about the wristbands and a lack of awareness by some of a ban on glass containers. But he said it was a well- behaved group.

"We haven't had any order-maintenance problems," he said. "None. Zero."


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