State Fair opens with 1st alcohol sales since 1946

WISH Photo
WISH Photo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana State Fair has kicked off its 17-day run with a menu that includes alcohol for the first time in nearly 70 years.

A new state law that took effect in July opened the door to beer and wine sales at the fair for the first time since 1946, the year before lawmakers banned alcohol sales at the event.

Beer and wine is only being sold, and can only be consumed, inside the fairgrounds’ Grand Hall in an exhibition space featuring some of Indiana’s craft beer and wine makers.

The first person to sample alcohol under the new law was 67-year-old Ed Swafford of Liberty, Indiana. He tried a Bavarian-style ale during the fair’s opening day Friday.

Swafford says he wanted to be first for the novelty of it. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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