Clallam County OKs fenced beer garden during fair rodeo

PORT ANGELES – Clallam County commissioners have unanimously approved a beer garden at this summer’s Clallam County Fair, which is set from Aug. 17-20.

The beer garden would be open one hour before to one hour after the rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights during the fair. The time of the rodeo has not been released.

Now county staff will seek proposals from 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with a special occasion license to furnish all staff, training, equipment and supplies.

Laurie Davies, a Washington State Fair Commissioner and former Clallam County Fair Commissioner, told the commissioners the 50-foot by 40-foot fenced beer garden would be located on the east side of the grandstands near where the smoking tent usually stands.

The selected nonprofit must present a site plan that matches what the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has online and follow all the rules, she said.

Assistant Risk Manager Tom Reyes said the most qualified nonprofit will be screened based upon a set list of criteria.

Said Commissioner Mike French: “We have no experience with a beer garden at the fair, but lots of organizations have experience running a beer garden, including the Juan de Fuca festival.

“With the plan in place, I feel comfortable about it,” he added. “If we don’t like it, we don’t have to do it again.”

Commissioner Randy Johnson said that his wife serves on the fair advisory board, but she didn’t vote on the beer garden recommendation.

Once the commissioners select a nonprofit organization to operate the beer garden, the application will have to be approved by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, which would consider granting a special occasion license.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@ soundpublishing.com.

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