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First beer sales at fair

Ralphe Nesenson, general manager of the Veterans Memorial Foundation(left) and Kim Cato-Chalmers share a beer at the fair. Proceeds from the Miller Lite sales go back to the VMF.

While children and youth enjoy a whole new midway at the Santa Rosa County Fair, provided by James Gang Amusements, there’s a new attraction this year exclusively for adults: beer. According to Kim Cato-Chalmers, with the SRC Fair Association, Miller Lite is providing beer for sale at the fair Friday and Saturday. After Friday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, she said, “Tonight is the first time ever that we will have beer sales at the Santa Rosa County Fair. In  the 24 year history, we’ve never done it, but we’re doing it responsibly.”

The burden the sales, according to Chalmers, falls on the Santa Rosa County Veterans Foundation. She said they spent around $700 in permitting and licensing fees on top of the per beer cost. “We’ve partnered with the Santa Rosa County Veterans Foundation. They are the group that does the Vets2VA program and the veterans services for our veterans in Santa Rosa County. Sometimes they put ramps on someone’s house if they’re disabled and they need it. They do a lot of things for our veterans and they provide a great service. So, they will be out here selling Miller Lite brand beer only on Friday and Saturday for the first time ever.”

Chalmers discussed how the fair association arrived at 2015 being the first year of beer sales. “This has been an ongoing process for several months. Of course we had to have licensing through the county and special liability permits and we’re so thankful to have such a good partner like Miller Lite who brought in an ice cold truck full of tasty beverages for people. So we’re really excited.”

In case something gets out of hand, the association has a fallback plan for Saturday. Chalmers said, “They are going to have to keep the beverages on the fairgrounds because that is the property being leased right now. For right now, we’re going to allow them to walk around with it and see how that goes for the first night. As long as everybody acts right then we’ll keep doing that but if not we may have to go to a beer garden situation where they just keep them in the beer garden. If you’re looking for an ice cold beer just look for the big blow-up Miller Lite can and you can find that between the stage and the FMX Bike Show at the Santa Rosa County Fair.”

Keep up with the Santa Rosa Press Gazette for further updates on the Santa Rosa County Fair.


According to Nesenson, the Veterans Foundation sold almost 200 beers last night. "The crowd's been great. Of course we're checking id cards…all very pleasant. I haven't seen any conflict with anybody, " he said. These initial sales from Friday night already cover the cost incurred by the Veterans Foundation for the licensing and permitting, "and then some," Nesenson said. While the fair goes on, beer sales will wrap up tonight and then go on again next Friday and Saturday. By then, Nesenson said, he's looking to clear about $2,000 for the VMF.

This article originally appeared on Santa Rosa Press Gazette: First beer sales at fair

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