Beer garden could come to Rochester's Country Fair

Mar 6, 2018

Organizers of the Rochester Country Fair are considering adding a beer garden to other amenities at the Country Fair this year, they told Rochester's Board of Selectmen on March 5.

The beer garden would require those entering to have a special wristband and would likely run somewhere between the hours of 5-9 p.m., organizers said, finishing up well before the end of the fair.

The garden would also have a second barrier aside from the first, to make sure that alcoholic drinks can't be handed outside the barriers.

Selectman Woody Hartley said that he thought the enclosed nature of the beer garden was a good idea when introducing alcohol to the Country Fair, as it would provide a space that is easily monitored. The selectman asked Rochester Police Chief Paul Magee, who was at the meeting, if he had any comments.

"My main concern was that the serving hours wrapped up well before the end of the fair," Magee said, "and that seems to be taken care of. I don't have any straight objections." He mentioned that he would prefer to provide an additional police officer at the beer garden in case anything were to happen. "The officer wouldn't be checking IDs or anything, but they would be at the area in case anything unexpected happens," he said.

The selectmen agreed to wait on making a decision until their next meeting. "We're just hearing about it, and I don't really have an objection, but I'd like to hear what the public thinks," Hartley said. "Then we'll come back in two weeks and make a decision."