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Indiana State Fair alcohol bill moves to House

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers will soon be able to knock back a beer or sip wine at the Indiana State Fair, under a bill passed by a House panel Wednesday morning.

Senate Bill 339 repeals state law prohibiting alcohol sales during the Indiana State Fair. Alcohol is sold on the state fairgrounds at various events during the rest of the year.

The State Fair Commission will be in charge of crafting a responsible program of alcohol sales at the fair, including location, hours and more.

“We are leaving it up to the commission and we will see how they do,” said Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne.

He also said the legislature might have to come back later and make specific adjustments depending on how the change goes.

The committee voted 10-1 to send the bill to the full House floor. GiaQuinta voted in support.

Fair officials have said the fair would focus on the agricultural link to Indiana wine, beer and spirits in an exposition limited to those 21 and over – akin to a beer garden. Alcohol would have to be consumed in the confined area, meaning it could not be carried around the fair.

nkelly@jg.net

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