Lebanon Reporter


March 29, 2014

Will beer, wine at state fair be win-win-win?


Klotz said the microbrew and wine industries are excited the General Assembly lifted the ban and are eager to be represented at the fair.

Several of my friends mentioned that even though most kids are exposed to people drinking alcohol, it’s generally in a more controlled setting — at a restaurant with their parents or maybe at a wedding reception.“I can’t imagine seeing adults drink alcohol at the state fair will have any more negative influence than the other ways they are exposed to alcohol,” Steve commented. “That said, there’s something about alcohol at a family event like the state fair that bothers me.”Marybeth commented: “Kids can’t drink. Parents should go elsewhere to do so.”Klotz pointed out that many family-focused venues, such as Disneyland, serve alcohol.“Being family-friendly is our hallmark, and we’ll continue to keep it that way,” he stressed.

According to Klotz, the North Carolina State Fair now is the lone state-fair holdout on serving alcoholic beverages. In Indiana, he said, there have been requests annually for many years by fairgoers who want to buy alcohol at the fair. Now, he said, those who want it can purchase it. Exactly how that’s going to work is still up in the air. Klotz said there will be a lot of planning to make sure it’s done right. One thing that’s certain so far, though, is that there will be only one place on the grounds for people to buy and drink alcohol. There are no specifics yet as far as what that area will look like or if it’ll be open for the duration of the fair or just part of it.“We’re going to have a beer and wine exhibition area,” Klotz said. “There will be one area on the fairgrounds this year. You must be 21 to enter, and alcohol will not be allowed outside the area.”That should alleviate a few worries. Hannah, a former 4-H’er and now a 4-H parent, had this to say:“I understand that Indiana has some fabulous wineries and breweries, and the chance to showcase them is a great one. And what a better place to do it ... but I don’t really like the idea of all the food vendors selling alcohol and people leaving trashed.”And let’s not forget the potential vomit and brouhahas. Drunk driving, fights, child neglect and kidnapping, and just plain annoying drunks were some concerns listed, not to mention increased costs and liability.

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