Give the fair its license

For reasons we cannot fathom, the Alaska State Fair is being barred from serving beer and wine – although it has for the past four decades.

In the past, the state fair operated under an Alaska law allowing recreational alcohol sales at a long list of sporting events and such, but the Alaska Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office now questions whether its license met statutory requirements.

The fair, it should be noted, was not among the organizations reviewed in a pair of audits that found perhaps a dozen questionable licenses – and led to its current problems.

The Senate is looking to address the issue – one that could cost the fair thousands of badly needed dollars – with Senate Bill 16, which would add fairs specifically to the statute in question.

It says: “A fair license authorizes the holder to sell beer and wine at multiple noncontiguous locations at regional fairs and other events held on a fairgrounds for consumption at designated areas of the licensed premises.”

It includes a biennial fee of $800 and, to qualify, a fair must have been active for 10 years before applying for a license.

It seems a no-brainer to us. When the House finally gets its act together and organizes, this legislation should get a fast ride through the Legislature.

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