The "social district" concept that has seen success in Anoka can now expand to include pilot programs in Shakopee and Stillwater after state legislation passed last session.

First tried last fall in downtown Anoka, a social district allows people to drink alcohol as they walk around sidewalks, streets and parks in a limited area. Drinkers must be 21 or older and can consume beer, wine or alcohol in specially-marked plastic cups.

As of April 18, Anoka had nine establishments obtain a city license to sell the to-go beverages.

"We're very excited for this," said Tim Zunker,president of the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce. "We just see this as a great opportunity to … create something unique."

Zunker said officials have been looking into the concept for more than a year.

The legislation allows the Shakopee City Council to implement the district, choosing days, times, locations, boundaries and other details, Zunker said. Those decisions have not yet been made.

The district won't be operational until September 2025, Zunker said, the date specified in the legislation.

City Administrator Bill Reynolds said the district is planned for the Canterbury Park entertainment area.

Zunker said having the social district on the horizon may prove a good recruitment tool to bring new bars, restaurants and other businesses to the city, too. He said he'd like to see two districts, including one downtown.

Correction: A previous version of the story incorrectly characterized the planned location of social districts in Shakopee. Officials are currently discussing one location in the Canterbury Park area.