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Rain won’t stop Harbour Nights

A new-look Harbour Nights is on tonight, come rain, blow or shine. Organisers have taken the decision to go ahead with the planned event every Wednesday until August 28 no matter what the weather. But one major change to the revamped street festival has been put on hold for at least this week. Organisers had hoped to obtain a liquor licence so that street vendors could sell alcoholic drinks throughout the pedestrianised parts of Front Street, Queen Street and Reid Street. But the Chamber of Commerce has now confirmed that, while bars and restaurants will be open tonight, drinks can only be consumed on licensed premises. Chamber of Commerce executive director Joanne MacPhee said: “There appears to be some concerns which we need to address directly with the Liquor Licensing Board before this matter can be resolved. “We hope to meet with them at their earliest convenience with a view to satisfactorily addressing these issues so that we can move this application forward towards a positive result.” The event was almost scrapped last year because of dwindling attendance figures. But after a major make over — which includes extending the route and introducing new entertainment spots — Mrs MacPhee said 90 percent of Chamber of Commerce members are now behind the event and many will be open for business tonight. “Our retailers, bars and restaurants will all be open, and there will be live entertainment along the route,” she said. “Vendors are encouraged to use their own discretion to determine whether or not they wish to participate.”