On July 19, community members can enjoy the vibrancy of downtown Auburn through Cheers on the Corner, an annual event that showcases local chefs and downtown merchants.
The ticketed event provides participants with a souvenir wine glass to be filled with samples of cocktails, wine and beer at 24 different stops throughout the evening. Participating businesses will also offer some sort of small bite, with many prepared by local chefs from restaurants like Acre, The Hound, The Depot, Hamilton's and Ariccia, among others.
This year, Back Forty Beer Co. will also set up a tent to allow ticketholders to sample craft beer.
Downtown coordinator Jessica Kohn worked to add more variety to the drink samples this year to accommodate more palates, rather than patrons only receiving samples of wine.
"The (Back Forty tent) is a great addition for those who enjoy the event, but aren't big wine drinkers," she said. "There will be a good bit of wine samples, but a lot of the restaurants and bars will be offering cocktail or beer samples, which is great for people who want more than the wine that's offered."
Cheers on the Corner is an entertainment district event, so all attendees can walk around outside with their beverages, and the streets within a block radius of Toomer's Corner will be closed.
Live music will continue through the night provided by the Rogue Tones, and Kohn encourages people to bring their families downtown to enjoy the atmosphere.
"I definitely think this is a family-friendly event," she said. "I don't want people to have the impression that just because ticketholders have to be 21 or older that you can't bring your children out. I think this is a fun event; I know my daughter enjoys coming."
Only about 1,000 tickets are available for Cheers on the Corner, but Kohn estimates that about 2,000 people came downtown last year for the event. Those who don't have a ticket can enjoy the music and any specials offered by downtown merchants, Kohn said.
Those interested in participating in the event should purchase their tickets early, she added.
"We did sell out last year before the event started, so I don't encourage people to wait until the day-of," she said.
Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 the day of the event. Tickets include a souvenir wine glass and food and drink samples at the 24 stops.
Cheers on the Corner is the largest event hosted by the Downtown Merchants Association (DMA) each year. All proceeds from ticket sales go to the DMA, which then uses the money to host other events throughout the year, like Come Home to the Corner every Friday before Auburn University home football games.
The event is meant to give community members an opportunity to explore the heart of Auburn and learn about its local businesses and restaurateurs — all with a satisfied palate and drink in hand.
"I know that it's a local favorite; a lot of people enjoy this event," Kohn said. "It's also a great event because it's a little slow in the summer. Our merchants enjoy having this in July; I think we all are in need of a little pick-me-up during the summer months.
"It also gives people the chance to get a taste of downtown Auburn through a variety of food samples and beverage samples from over 20 businesses. There's nowhere else you can get that experience at this price."
The event will last from 6 to 9 p.m. on July 19. Purchase tickets at downtownauburnonline.com.
The streets will close at 4 p.m. for event set-up, and any vehicles parked downtown on Magnolia Avenue or College Street should be moved no later than 2 p.m. July 19 lest they be towed at the owner's expense.