Commission amends ordinance to allow beer sales during events on county property

ST. GEORGE — Where serving alcohol at events held on county-owned property and unincorporated land has been prohibited in the past, that changed Tuesday when the Washington County Commission amended the county’s beer licenses and sales ordinance.

The Washington County Commission meets to discuss the county’s alcohol ordinance, St. George, Utah, Jul 2, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“This change will allow single special events licenses to be allowed if approved by the County Commission,” Deputy Washington County Attorney Eric Clarke said during Tuesday’s commission meeting.

The amended ordinance will allow future events, such as the upcoming county fair, to serve beer.

Having a beer garden available during the fair was mentioned in responses to an online survey county residents answered last fall asking for suggestions and changes they’d like to see applied to the fair.

Read more: Chamber of commerce tapped to run Washington County Fair, will consider potential changes

Clarke said the beer will likely be served to event patrons in a manner similar to St. George Streetfest where individuals will be able to purchase and drink beer but not necessarily be allowed to become intoxicated.

“It’s worked out really well,” Clarke said of the Streetfest model.

Demolition Derby at the Washington County Fair, Hurricane, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Fair, St. George News

Before event organizers can get permission to sell beer at an event like the county fair, they must also obtain a state-level permit that comes with its own list of requirements.

“As the popularity of our county fairgrounds grows, more and more events would like to come in and have the opportunity for people and participants to serve alcohol, and this would allow that,” Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson said prior to a unanimous vote amending the ordinance.

The Washington County Fair is set to run Aug. 7-10 at the Legacy Park fairgrounds near Hurricane off state Route 9.

The county fair and events held during it have been the subject of revision since the start of the year when the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce was put in charge of overseeing the annual event and implementing changes suggested by the County Commission and last fall’s online survey results.

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Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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