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March 1, 2012

Taking the party home: Sherman Minton celebration planned for Saturday in New Albany

NEW ALBANY — The Sherman Bridge is open, and so are the businesses of New Albany.

On Saturday, there’s a collaborative effort planned to showcase some of the city’s finest establishments, retailers and restaurants, and it’s been dubbed the Welcome Back Sherman Minton Celebration.

“We started planning this out based on Hall Contracting’s original date of March 1” to reopen the Sherman Minton, said Keg Liquors owner Todd Antz.

He headed the effort to incorporate free wine and beer tastings for the event, which will run from 2 to 5 p.m. throughout downtown. The bridge opened ahead of schedule on Feb. 17, and though the event was already planned for Saturday, Antz said the two week period in between hasn’t taken away from the excitement of local businesses about the improved commute.

“We’re trying to bring people down and show them a good time and show them what’s popped up in New Albany,” Antz said.

Eight breweries and wineries, seven of which are from the area, will provide free tastings of their products at places like Schmitt Furniture, Quills Coffee and The White House Centre Saturday.

There will also be free tastings offered at Keg Liquors, located at 302 Pearl St. The store is giving a 10 percent discount on all purchases made at the New Albany location Saturday.

A plethora of businesses are offering discounts and promotions including Habana Blues, Colokial and The Dandy Lion.

“The big thing is there’s a lot of downtown merchants that are either going to be doing sales or discounts, and I’ve even seen some freebies posted out there too,” Antz said.

They’ll be activities for kids at the event as well including face painting, a portable playground and Bonkers the clown whose specialty is creating balloon animals.

There will also be a city fire truck and police car on display for kids to check out. The winter farmer’s market will also locate at Schmitt Furniture for Saturday’s event.

Develop New Albany has played a large role in organizing the event.

The organization’s president, Susan Kaempfer, said the celebration fits Develop New Albany’s charge to support economic revitalization.

“We’re all trying to come together and work as a team,” she said.

Develop New Albany will also be around to help businesses in the future beyond Saturday’s event, Kaempfer added. The city remains fertile for growth and the organization wants to be a partner in the progress, she continued.

“The whole goal is to see what role we can play in trying to help the city, whether it be informational in terms of getting the word out, or in terms of something we need to do like research,” Kaempfer said.

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