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October 16, 2019

Haywood County Fair Selling Beer

The decision to sell beer at the Haywood County Fair was met with pushback from some members of the community, raising questions about whether or not the family-friendly event will suffer from alcohol sales. This year marks the first time alcohol will be sold and consumed during the annual county fair, but it’s technically been an option ever since the passage of countywide alcohol sales in 2016. Voters overwhelmingly approved countywide alcohol sales on the ballot that year, with 68 percent in support of on-premise beer sales anywhere in the county. Before, alcohol could only be sold inside town limits. During the Aug. 19, meeting of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Mark Pless said he’d heard numerous community members and organizations express their disappointment, not only with the decision to sell beer but also the way in which the decision was made. Fair organizers made the decision months ago to allow beer sales during the fair, but the fairgrounds board never officially endorsed it. However, County Commissioner Tommy Long, who serves on the fair board, asked for a formal vote on the issue at a fair board meeting last week. The vote was 3-2 in favor of allowing beer sales.

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