HATTIESBURG, MS. - Mayor Toby Barker and city officials met at Thirsty Hippo Friday to officially sign the to-go-cup ordinance that council members passed 4-1 last month.
Supporters have worked the last year to bring the ordinance to Hattiesburg. The ordinance will take effect September 22. Residents can walk along the designated area with an alcoholic beverage inside a plastic container.
“Anytime that you see something in the Legislature that you had worked on, it’s a satisfying thing and I think any representative would do for their area, knowing the character of their city" says Mayor Barker.
Hattiesburg Historic Downtown Association's (HHDA) Andrea Saffle says, "We are adding a link to our website, about what you should know before you to-go-cup so people know what to do before they come downtown."
Officials say the new ordinance can create an economic boost for local tourism. Marlo Dorsey with Visit Hattiesburg says, "Speaking to the other communities that have implemented this ordinance already they have seen a tremendous amount of growth in their downtown areas."
She adds, "So that is of course great news for Visit Hattiesburg. We want everyone to enjoy our beautiful community and this is a great start for downtown Hattiesburg."
Surrounding businesses agree its a great start to revitalize downtown. The Porter owner, Roy Windham says businesses are policing together to make sure the ordinance has a positive start.
Windham says, “We will make sure that they do not leave out of the place completely hammered, running around the streets and being silly."
"We will make sure that people who want a to-go-cup are able to leave responsibly" says Windham.
According to Mayor Barker he is open minded about expanding the district in the future.