Beer garden expanded for this year’s Marion County fair

The fair will have a beer garden again this year during the demolition derby, but they are expanding it. Beer drinkers will be able to buy beers and enjoy them in an expanded area.

The Hillsboro City Council approved the plans in their meeting on April 16 after hearing from Brent Unruh, Marion Co Fair Vice President, who is in charge of the event.

Unruh explained that last year was the first year for a beer garden at the fair and it went well.

“We didn’t have a single issue with the alcohol. It was the cleanest spot in the arena,” said Unruh.

There were several reasons for the changes this year.

“Some people, like me, would like to take a beer back and sit with their family rather than be confined to an area where they buy it. So we wanted to open up the East side to beer sales only so we could block it off and inspect the area,” said Unruh. “We don’t want the fair to be known as a bunch of beer drinkers. What we are trying to do is to create a profit at the fair. Now a lot more people will just buy a beer or two and go sit with their friends and family.”

The council members had heard positive feedback about the garden in general and decided it would be a good move to expand the area.

“Every year, it becomes financially harder for the fair. That’s kinda where the beer garden idea stemmed from is that we can bring in revenue with the beer garden and not put such a burden on the businesses of Marion County,” said Unruh.

Beer drinkers will need to continue to show ID no matter their age as well as wear a bracelet to identity those 21 and older. If someone has a beer in their hand and no bracelet, they will have the beer confiscated and be asked to leave.

For those who do not want to be around beer, they have options.

“The West side of the arena is no alcohol whatsoever so there is still a family side for those who don’t want to be part of it or have their kids be a part of it,” said Unruh.

“This is also a chance for people to show their kids responsible drinking,” said Jennifer Moss, secretary for the fair. “We are trying to support and provide opportunities for both sides.”

So for those who enjoy having a beer or more while watching the demolition derby, check out the beer garden this year.n