The Steele Saloon
There will be a new
option for fairgoers seeking to cool down with an alco- holic beverage this year. The Steele County Free
Fair Board has approved a second location for selling beer, wine and now hard liquor on the grounds.
The Steele Saloon will be located in a tent in the area of the old race track, said Fair Board Director Doug Meier. The sale of hard liquor will be first for the fair and it will only be available at the Saloon. Currently only beer and wine are avail- able in the Beer Garden.
Meier said the Saloon is
part of the redevelopment of the fairgrounds that is under way with the remov- al of the track that previ- ously was in front of the grandstand and opening
up that area for additional activities and vendors.
The actual Saloon will be housed in a 40 by 80 foot tent, he said. It will also in- clude some outside seating.
There will be a fence
around the area, he said, and then eight feet away
there will be anoth- er fence surround- ing it. This, Meier said, is to prevent
a person from
passing a drink across the
fence to a person on the grounds.
No one under 21 will be allowed inside the area at any time, he said. He also said that while beer, wine and hard liquor will be available, there will be no shots poured.
Another way the Saloon will be different from the Beer Garden, he said, is in the type of music played.
It will be a “speakeasy” atmosphere, Meier said, with no loud music. The idea, he said, is to have a place where people can come, have a drink, and talk without having to talk over the music.
At the Beer Garden bands are a nightly feature.
“It’s going to be quiet,” he said, “allowing visiting with friends.”
board did not make the decision to allow hard liquor sales
it was approved on an 8-5
vote after a lengthy discus- sion.
Meier said that the decision to have the Saloon for the next two fairs is to see how it is received and
if it is financially feasible to continue it. At the end of two years, he said, the fair board will look at the idea again and then make
a final decision on whether hard liquor should be sold and the Saloon become a permanent feature.
“We will look at the
numbers and see how it goes,” Meier said.
For this year’s fair, the Steele Saloon will be open on Tuesday, opening day, from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday it will be open from
2 to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon
to 8 p.m.
Saturday morning, he said, will feature a Bloody Mary bar.
The Beer Garden will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and will open at noon on Sunday. There is no admission for the entertainment inside
the Beer Garden but no one under 21 is
allowed to enter.