ST. CLOUD -- For the second year in a row one block of 5th Avenue in downtown St. Cloud will be closed to vehicles to create more outdoor seating for the businesses in that area.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says 5th Avenue will close from 1st Street South to St. Germain Street West starting already on Thursday, April 1st.  Outdoor dining will then be allowed on the sidewalks and into the street all the way through October.

Kleis says it's likely this closure will become an annual thing, but he can't guarantee it will happen as soon as April 1st every year.  He says the city wanted to do it as soon as possible this year because of the continued restrictions due to COVID-19.

He says the city is planning to make upgrades to the barricades to make them more attractive this year, and he says they're hoping to incorporate some regular events like Granite City Days into that area.

Meanwhile, the same adjusted rules that were in place last year will be in place this year with other bars and restaurants in the city not on 5th Avenue being allowed to put more tables outside on their sidewalks or into their parking lots.

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