Sale of beer and wine at the Lorain County Fairgrounds was approved Nov. 13 during the board of directors’ annual meeting.
A 19-7 vote added Article XIX to the fair board’s constitution, stating that the Lorain County Agricultural Society may sell limited types of alcohol at the fair or any other event that is open to the public and conducted on the fairgrounds.
It also allows the holder of a valid liquor license to host public events at the fairgrounds with authorization from the agricultural society.
Fair board president Ron Pickworth said there are no immediate plans to begin alcohol sales at the 2019 Lorain County Fair or any other upcoming event but that adding new language to the constitution was a first step.
“This was just to put things in place so if in the future we decide to do it everything is ready to go,” he said. “In most cases, it’s a minimum of a two-year process.”
Pickworth said a separate vote will be held in the future for sale of beer and wine specifically during the Lorain County Fair.
Article XIX also allows the fair board to use revenue from the sale of beer and wine to acquire its own alcohol and liquor license for use at fairgrounds events.
Liquor and mixed drinks will still be prohibited at the fairgrounds as well as on its parking lots and surrounding roads.
Pickworth said alcohol sales will be strictly regulated and that vendors will have to be certified in responsible serving.
“We’ve had entertainers ask us about it,” Pickworth said. “Some vendors really want to have it and we also have patrons who like that. There’s a lot of things behind this discussion. Some concerns came up too. If we move forward with it, there will be a lot of rules and regulations. Like most fairs, I’m sure there would be a specific area to consume in. You wouldn’t be able to carry it around the grounds or anything like that.”