Yesterday was the occasion of NA 1 Night Stand, downtown New Albany's first ever "beer walk" not to be associated with the annual autumn festival that always hates to have its name attached to such concepts. Rather, this one was the brainchild of Main Street resident Jala Miller, who put her formidable powers of marketing and social networking onto the task of filling downtown with people on an otherwise "normal" August evening.
To say it was a success is an understatement of epic dimension.
The fun started at 3:00 p.m., and the following photo shows the lamentable aftermath of Bank Street Brewhouse's first two red-clad, beer "walking," Bud Light-ordering customers, who couldn't bring themselves to finish their Kaisers, abruptly departing to drive off to continue their beer walk.
Unfortunately, Richard caught the moment on film.
Whatever. I took one for the team.
Next came Studio's Grille and Pub, where the joint was jumping and bottled Sierra Nevada Pale Ale helped restore my palate for the evening ahead.
Happily, even those establishments not officially participating also seemed to be having good evenings. The Windsor was catering for a 250-strong wedding party at the Grand, and Connor's Place reportedly ran out of beer. Not to excuse them for failing to climb on board this time ...
The point in all this is simple: For the second weekend in a row, and with numerous other events taking place, downtown was on the regional map, and hundreds of people who probably would have been somewhere else were in downtown New Albany, instead, whether at last night's beer walk or last week's Celtic Fest.
These throngs translate into key visits from Louisvillians and other folks who don't live here, an important and youthful area demographic, and more than a few residents, some newcomers, other longstanding, who seem quite happy to finally have a local option.
Good stuff in just about every sense. Momentum is a good thing. Now, we must keep it moving -- forward, not backward.