Kansas State Fair explores policy to allow beer throughout fairgrounds

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) The 2019 Kansas State Fair isn't over, but officials are already looking at ideas for next year. That includes a change to the fair's alcohol policy.

Right now, there are only a few designated places at the fair where you can drink beer. That could change in 2020.

“It’s the new millennium," says fairgoer Mark Bryant. "You gotta have it, you gotta step up to the new age, do things that people want to do, have fun, and that’s one of the issues that always comes to light.”

The state fair allows alcohol consumption in the enclosed areas, like the Grand Stand and beer garden, but when you leave those areas, you have to throw your beer in the trash.

General Manager Robin Jennison visited the Iowa State Fair this year where they allow beer consumption throughout the fairgrounds. Now, he wants to bring the idea back to Kansas.

If the state fair board adopts the policy change, beer could be carried throughout the fair.

While feelings on the subject remain mixed, Charlie Griffin, who sells beer at the fair, says he trusts that people will drink responsibly.

“There are plenty of Hutchinson police to take care of it," he says. "Right now, if someone is walking out here drunk, they can get arrested. It won't be any different then. Walking around with your beer doesn’t mean you can be drunk in public.”

The fair board says it will continue to explore the idea ahead of next year's fair.