Last week a pair of city business leaders approached the Belgrade City Council regarding future community events. And they should be congratulated for doing so.
Rhino Casino owner Andrew Cetraro and Belgrade Liquor CEO Christina Riffle spoke to the council about their upcoming chili cook-off venture tentatively set for Sept. 29.
The pair are responsible for the Saturday Night Live Belgrade held this summer, which proved to be a success by all accounts. Some shortcomings were aired last week regarding the nuts-and-bolts of alcohol sales but overall the council praised the event.
More Saturday Night Live events are scheduled for next summer on a regular basis as well as art walks and other family-centered events. And what’s not to like about seeing people outside in downtown in their own city?
Which is what the goal is, according to Riffle.
“We want to offer reasons to stay in town and not drive to Bozeman and to keep business here,” she told the council.
The council was antsy about allowing liquor to be served. And it’s an understandable concern.
“It’s supposed to be a family event,” Councilwoman Kris Menicucci said. “If it’s just drinking, it’s not a family event.”
But the pair have a plan in place to mirror tactics brought about by the craft breweries in the valley where drinks are limited to a specific amount. Implementing safety measures were discussed. If it fails the council can always prevent future events.
It’s worth a shot, though. The more events they do, the more they understand how best to go about it. And in turn, the stronger the fabric is woven in the community by these events. Just look at what the Belgrade Community Coalition did to Festival of Lights.
Consider getting involved in these efforts because it will make Belgrade a better place.
Mayor Russ Nelson said it best.
“I think it’s wonderful. It helps the city grow. I think it’s really good that people are doing things in Belgrade.”