Hey, Harrisburg–who’s up for some al fresco dining?
In June, the city and the Downtown Improvement District plan to launch “Saturday Night in the City,” which will close down a portion of N. 2nd Street to allow for outdoor restaurant seating.
The announcement came during Mayor Eric Papenfuse’s weekly “Community Conversations” on Facebook Live.
Each Saturday, from 6 to 10 p.m. in June, the city will shut down 2nd Street from Market to Pine streets to allow restaurants to open for outdoor dining along the street.
“It’s an attempt to allow people to come back and support some of their favorite restaurants and businesses that have really been hit hard by this crisis,” Papenfuse said.
Harrisburg now is under the “yellow” phase in the state’s phased reopening plan. Under that phase, state regulations do not allow restaurants to serve inside their establishments, However, they can serve outdoors under certain rules, including distancing requirements.
In addition to restaurants opening, there will be live music and other festivities, free to the public, Papenfuse said.
“It’s an exciting partnership and program,” he said.
The city and HDID plan to offer additional detail soon, Papenfuse said.
During the Facebook Live event, Papenfuse also hosted Gerald Feaser, director of the Dauphin County Bureau of Elections and Voter Registration.
The primary election is Tuesday, having been moved up from April 28. They discussed new ways of voting and precautions being taken.
“The new voting system is paper-based,” Feaser said. “It’s the one we chose because of the longevity of this new format. It has the least hurdles.”
Voters can expect to fill out their ballot in a privacy booth before depositing it in a scanner. Feaser encouraged people to bring their own pens, black or blue, for sanitary purposes.
All polling locations will be equipped to maintain cleanliness and will have hand sanitizer available, he said. Wearing masks is strongly encouraged, though not mandatory to vote.
“Even more new is the whole mail-in ballot proposition,” Feaser said.
According to Feaser, over 40,000 Dauphin County residents have asked for mail-in ballots, and about 25,500 people have sent theirs in so far.
In addition to sending ballots through traditional mail, voters can drop them in a box outside the county Administration Building at S. 2nd and Market streets in Harrisburg.
Lastly, Papenfuse announced parking enforcement in the city will return June 15 as Dauphin County moves into the “yellow phase.” This includes meters, residential zones and street sweeping zones, he added. Street sweeping will resume on the same day.
Harrisburg’s Community Conversations are each Friday at noon on Facebook Live. To watch past conversations, visit their YouTube channel. For a list of Dauphin County polling locations, visit their website.