Fairfield Avenue's Entertainment District Status Starts with Christmas Walk

The new Bellevue Entertainment District (BED) takes effect this weekend with the annual Fairfield Avenue Christmas Walk.

Bellevue city council recently approved the adoption of the BED, which will allow patrons at various establishments along the Avenue to carry alcoholic beverages on designated city sidewalks.

Patrons wishing to carry their drinks throughout the entertainment district must purchase a reusable cup for 50 cents from a qualifying establishment within the district. The cups can be filled with to-go alcoholic beverages, which means that patrons may stroll with their drinks on sidewalks and crosswalks on Fairfield Avenue between O’Fallon Avenue and Riviera Drive/Riverboat Row and into the bars, restaurants, and other businesses located there. 

The brightly colored, reusable cups are branded with the city’s “In Vue” logo and emblazoned with the entertainment district rules. The hours of operation for the BED are from noon until 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Signs designating the boundaries of the entertainment district are posted on Fairfield Avenue. Participation by local businesses in the BED is voluntary. A full list of rules for the BED can be found on the city’s website at BellevueKY.org.

“We’re very excited to try something new to help our merchants and to create some excitement in our business district,” Bellevue Mayor Charlie Cleves said. “If I can have a cocktail while my wife shops on Fairfield Avenue, I think I would last twice as long walking around with her.” 

The purpose of the entertainment district designation is to enhance Fairfield Avenue as a fun and friendly gathering place and to promote the city’s small businesses, Bellevue City Administrator Frank Warnock said.

“Our emphasis here is always focused on community engagement,” Warnock said. “We invite everyone to come get in ‘BED’ with Bellevue.”

Recent changes to state law allows Kentucky cities to create these types of “entertainment zones,” Warnock said. The city developed its model for the BED by looking to cities like Owensboro, Somerset, and Louisville, where similar districts have been created, he said.

“We carefully looked at the cities that have had great success with their entertainment districts,” he said. “We wanted to create a safe and fun environment for our residents and visitors and a synergy for our business owners to work and thrive together.” 

Warnock said extra police patrols in the entertainment district will ensure that people are complying with the BED rules.

Bellevue Community Development Director Jody Robinson said the entertainment district helps create a uniquely “Bellevue experience” for residents and visitors to the city. “It is important in today’s marketplace to create an experience for patrons,” Robinson said. “We want to create positive interaction for people to have the freedom to get out and discover everything we have to offer.”

The Fairfield Avenue Christmas Walk, which kicks off the holiday season in the city’s historic Fairfield Avenue business district, will take place on Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The annual event features shopping and dining at the city’s local, independently owned businesses and a visit from Santa.

Businesses will offer Black Friday and Small-Business Saturday deals during the event and shoppers will be automatically entered to win one of 30 available prizes, including gift certificates for $25 and $250.

Historic Fairfield Avenue retailers will be open until 8 p.m. between Thanksgiving and Christmas. On Friday, Dec. 13, from noon until 6 p.m., a Hoxworth Mobile Blood Drive will be held in the district. For more information registering for the blood drive and In Vue’s holiday events, visit www.shopbellevueky.com.

The rules:

  • Alcohol may be carried, possessed, and consumed on Fairfield Avenue sidewalks and crosswalks (between O’Fallon Avenue and Riviera Drive/Riverboat Row) and into Fairfield Avenue participating businesses in the BED during the days/times permitted only as set forth in these rules. 

  • BED days/times: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from noon until 10 pm (EST). 

  • Alcohol must be purchased from a licensed alcohol vendor within the BED. 

  • Alcohol may only be carried in a City-approved BED cup, which may be purchased at any participating vendor in the BED. 

  • Alcohol may be carried into businesses, including shops, restaurants, and bars in the BED unless prohibited by a business. 

  • Patrons traveling from bar to bar (or a restaurant serving alcohol) should use BED-approved cups. 

  • No alcohol may be brought into the BED from outside sources. 

  • Alcohol may not be taken outside of the BED for any reason. 

  • All state and local laws are strictly enforced in the BED, including public intoxication and disorderly conduct. 

  • All alcohol vendors shall refuse to sell or provide a City-approved cup with alcohol to any person or persons who are visibly intoxicated. 

  • All discarded cups must be disposed properly in waste or recycling containers. Littering is prohibited in the BED and will be strictly enforced. 

  • BED patrons must walk on sidewalks and crosswalks. 

-Staff report