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Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area

DORA logo

Next Event: Friday, April 12, 2024 from 6 - 9 p.m.

It's DORA for short. Nope, not the little explorer girl. It stands for Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area and it is where you can Sip and Stroll in certain spaces in town during featured events like the monthly ArtWalk.

The first event to utilize this feature was during the Art Walk on Friday, November 11, 2022.
(Postponed to December 9th due to bad weather)
The first event in 2023 was Friday, March 10th from 6:00-9:00 p.m. during a partnership with the Colonial Beach Artist Guild’s 2nd Friday Art Walk.

Then there was a 2-day St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza! Friday, March 17th from 3:00-6:00 p.m., and on Saturday, your favorite Irish band Blackthorn Shillelagh played on Town Hill from 6:00-9:00 p.m.! 

Sip and Stroll Logo

During Sip 'n Stroll events, those of legal drinking age (21 years and over) are allowed to purchase “to-go” alcoholic beverages from select ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control)-licensed retailers. They can then walk with those drinks in hand throughout the specified downtown district and visit certain businesses. Drinks in specially-marked Sip 'n Stroll cups will be the only alcoholic beverages allowed in the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area

Town of Colonial Beach’s Sip 'n Stroll outings are sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors ($1K): Coldwell Banker Elite and Eric Nelson/Coldwell Banker Elite
Gold Sponsors ($750): Dockside Realty
Bronze Sponsors ($250): Oomboon Restaurant, Point of View Properties, and Colonial Beach Brewing

Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area backstory

On July 1, 2021, Virginia ABC replaced the application for Local Special Events (LSE) licenses with Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (ORA) licenses. Much like the LSE license, an ORA license is only issued to a locality, business improvement district or nonprofit organization and it authorizes the consumption of alcoholic beverages within

  • public spaces of the ORA
  • any permanent retail on-premise licensee that is located within the ORA
  • any business without a license so long as the business owner agrees. 

Businesses with an on-premise license can't allow outside alcohol into their establishments.

The locality must be involved in the discussion of specified boundaries for the ORA. A limit of 16 events per year, each lasting no more than three days will be granted ORA licenses unless the locality adopts an ordinance requesting an increase in both frequency and duration. The ordinance must specify the size and boundaries of the ORA, a public safety plan and any other considerations deemed necessary by ABC. 

Only alcoholic beverages bought from permanent retail on-premises licensees located within the designated area may be consumed in the ORA, and those alcoholic beverages are to be contained in paper, plastic, or similar disposable containers that clearly display the name or logo of the retail on-premises licensee from which the alcoholic beverage was purchased.

Alcoholic beverages shall not be sold or charged for in any way by the ORA licensee, who must post appropriate signage clearly illustrating to the public the boundaries of the ORA; however, no physical barriers are required for this purpose. The licensee will also have to provide adequate security to ensure compliance with ABC regulations.

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