A group of New Albany businesses is trying something new tonight. It’s called New Albany on Tap, and it’s a fundraiser to help construct a small public park next to Van Atkins Jewelry at the northern end of the Tanglefoot Trail.
The event, to be held in Cooper Park, is a beer tasting of small samples of as many as 13 different craft and imported beers along with food from the Pizza Pit and Jackson’s Butcher Block. A $15 ticket purchased in advance at either place covers the beer sampling; food will cost extra.
In addition the group, led by Mary Jennifer Russell, owner of Sugaree’s Bakery, has hired Sweet Tea Jubliee, a blues ensemble to entertain. The beer is available from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with food, soft drinks, water and the band available until 10:30 p.m.
It appears organizers have worked hard to assure that the event will be handled properly. Ticket holders, who must be 21, will get identifying wrist bands and must remain in the park, which is private property. Security will be at the park to assure everything goes smoothly.
We don’t know whether such an event will be successful, but we support our area businesses trying new things that provide night-time activities so our downtown will have more life at night. Events here bring money back to our city that otherwise would be spent in Tupelo or Oxford.
And the event is certainly for a good cause. Tanglefoot Trail will convert 42 miles of former railway to a path for hiking, biking and other activities between New Albany and Houston and is expected to bring thousands of tourists to our city. Government grants and other funds will pay for the trail, but not for a Trailhead Plaza park.