Beer at the fair? Board tables topic
WILMINGTON- Selectboard members tabled discussion on a request for a permit to serve alcohol at this year’s Deerfield Valley Farmers’ Day Fair at their regular meeting Tuesday evening.
Acting as liquor commissioners, the board took up the request for Avigliano Catering, of Brattleboro, to serve alcohol at the fair from Thursday, August 9, to Sunday, August 12. Board members debated whether they should deny the permit, or seek more information regarding the request. But they questioned whether the request came from the fair committee, or from the amusement company.
“I think if this is something the fair really wants to do, we should consider it,” said board member Ann Manwaring.
“I can’t believe the fair would even request this,” said selectboard chair Tom Fitzgerald.
Wilmington Police Chief Joe Szarejko said he was not in favor of approving a permit to serve alcohol at the fair. “This was discussed seven or eight years ago,” he said, “So I was surprised to see this come across my desk. I don’t even know if the fair committee knows about it. I’m not in favor of it. We’d have to have 12 to 15 officers down there.”
Fitzgerald recalled that a beer tent had been allowed at the fair many years ago, and the result had not been positive, in one case leading to the death of a local youth in a crash. “I remember the old beer tent at the Deerfield Valley Farmers’ Day Fair,” he said. “What a disaster! When I saw this I couldn’t even believe they were going to have alcohol again.”
Board members finally decided to table the request, so that it could be taken up again if the fair committee was the one making the request. Fitzgerald said he would have to hear directly from the committee before he would consider approving the request.
“Before we take it up again, I’m going to want a whole lot more to go on to go against what (Szarejko) wants,” he said.
At the end of the meeting, board member Vince Rice said he received a text from a member of the fair committee confirming that the committee was the one making the request.
“Apparently it’s something they want,” Rice said.