Senate passes bill allowing state fair alcohol sales

Indiana State Fair visitors would be able to purchase alcohol for the first time since 1947 under a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday.

Senate Bill 168 would allow Indiana breweries and wineries to sell their beverages in a designated area. Those under 21 would not be allowed into the barred off section.

“I think I can stand here and assure you that this will be tightly controlled. This will be Indiana wines, Indiana beers,” said Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis.

The State Fair Commission estimated it would make $110,000 between 2015 and 2016 from the alcohol sales.

But the fair would also have to spend money on more security for the alcohol areas.

Opponents of the bill said the sale of alcohol may hinder the “family-friendly environment” the State Fair is known for.

The bill now moves to the House.

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