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Anoka is bringing back its "social district," and this year the program — which allows people to sip alcohol as they stroll some city streets — will run for five months with expanded borders to include businesses on the south side of Main Street in the city's historic downtown.

A performance by Alex Larson "Unplugged," a solo show from 5 to 7 p.m. May 1 at City Hall Plaza will officially open the district. It will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Oct. 6.

A social district is a specific area which allows anybody 21 or older, to purchase and drink beer, wine and cocktails from a business and drink it as they stroll throughout the area, which includes common spaces such as sidewalks, parks, and in streets during events and activities.

The north metro community was the first city in Minnesota to pilot the initiative with a month-long trial last fall after getting legislative approval.

"Everything went really well," said Doug Borglund, Anoka's community development director. "This year will be a full season. We are excited about it."

Nine establishments have obtained a license from the city to sell to-go drinks in specially marked plastic recyclable cups, and a few more are likely to participate, Borglund said.

The district's borders are roughly along E. Main and Jackson streets from the Rum River to 3rd Avenue, and along 2nd Avenue from Main to Harrison streets. An area on the south side of Main Street between 1st and 3rd avenues has been added to the district this year, as has the tunnel under the Main Street Bridge to make crossing the busy thoroughfare easier and safer, Borglund said.

Concerts will be held every Wednesday night starting June 12, and other events such as the Anoka Food Truck Festival Aug. 17 will take place to enhance the experience, Borglund said.