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Cheers to becoming the first Social District in the U.P.

MANISTIQUE - The City of Manistique and Schoolcraft Tourism & Commerce is excited to announce the launch of the first Social District in the Upper Peninsula, expected to kick off in May of 2022. In 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 5781 into law creating the Social District Permit. A social district is a designated area within a city in which patrons of participating bars and restaurants may carry an open alcoholic beverage outside within designated areas that are clearly outlined on a map.

“Having visited the social district on Beale Street in Memphis, it creates a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere for walking the streets, listening to musicians playing on the corners and street, and may even give our amateur artists places to play and entertain. When done right, the social district will increase our downtown traffic and put Manistique on the map as a must-stop destination, much like Munising!”, says local business owner, Mary Lou Hoffman.

How does it benefit our community? Social districts were a lifeline to many businesses during the pandemic. Social districts have revitalized countless communities, allowing people to gather safely while still maintaining a sense of normalcy, and have become so popular that over 80 Michigan cities and towns have made their social district a permanent fixture.

The social district can increase foot traffic through our downtown area, providing greater exposure for our retail establishments. Social districts have proven to be successful endeavors for many other communities in Michigan and we hope for the best. If not, we can learn from it and continue to move forward with other ideas!“ says City Mayor, Kimberly Shiner.

How does it work? A social district allows for participating bars and restaurants to sell alcohol in a marked container​ to customers that can then leave that bar or restaurant and move about within the commons area in the social district. This includes walking the sidewalks and shopping inside participating businesses that have a social district decal displayed on their door.

“We thank the City of Manistique, City Council, Public Safety, and local establishments for their collaboration on this accomplishment”, says Economic Development Corporation Chair David Muxlow. “With opportunity comes responsibility, and we are hopeful this opportunity will lead to continued economic growth and prosperity for Schoolcraft County.

To view a list of participating businesses and designated Social District zones, which encompasses a four-block stretch of downtown including Triangle Park to the end of S. Cedar Street, go to

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