Beer sales a first for fair

Raises money for vet memorial

Susan, a 230 lb. Yorkshire/Hampshire Cross pig receives a cool shower from Ethan Kimak, 9, of Bristolville Tuesday afternoon at the TC Fair. photo by R. Michael Semple

BAZETTA — French fries, corndogs, cotton candy and … beer.

Sales of the alcoholic beverage are happening for the first time ever in the run of the Trumbull County Fair this year, but it’s for a compassionate cause — to raise money for a veterans memorial on High Street in Cortland.

The Senior Fair board and members of the Cortland Veteran’s Memorial Committee are partnering to sell beer at the grandstand for the memorial.

“We have extra officers at the grandstand checking IDs,” said Steve Burbach, a fair board director. “We brought out some extra officers to keep everything safe.”

Once a person’s identification is verified valid, wristbands are handed out so only those over 21 can make a purchase.

“There’s always some negativity, but the response has been mostly positive,” Burbach said.

On Tuesday, there was a beer-throwing incident in the grandstand that needed intervention from the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.

A Girard family watching the Northern Whiskey concert became embroiled in a beer-throwing incident when several kids knocked over a beer onto a 77-year-old, according to a Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office report.

When the man turned to talk to the parents of the teens, heated words were exchanged and beer was thrown by both men.

Two fair employees ran over, grabbed the older man whose beer was knocked over by his arms and across his neck, and escorted him from the area, according to the report. His daughter ran over, explaining that her father had a previous neck injury.

The fair employees released him and bought him another beer before allowing him to return to the grandstand, the report stated.

The Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office was called by the family, saying the fair employees handling of the situation was too aggressive. He had bruising on his arms and on the back of his neck, according to the police report. No arrests were made.

One hundred percent of the beer sales on Tuesday went to the memorial fund. Through the rest of the fair, which ends Sunday, 20 percent will go toward the memorial.

It’s estimated the memorial park at Point Park will cost $155,000 to build. So far, enough money has been raised to build the memorial with large donations coming from Cortland Masonic Lodge 592 and Lou Wollam Chevrolet.

The money raised at the fair will go toward yearly maintenance of the park.

Committee co-chairman Ian Mcaleer, who served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, said the goal is to raise $6,000 to $10,000 for maintenance.

“We have veterans from Alaska to Florida purchasing engraved bricks, we will have about 900 going in,” said Mcaleer.

Veterans or family members can purchase engraved brick pavers to be put in the park. The cost will go toward making of the brick while the rest of the proceeds are given to the Cortland Community Foundation.

Contstruction is set to begin on Friday and should be done by August. The park will be renamed Cortland Veterans Memorial Park. Existing structures like the gazebo are being moved to Mecca.

Tribune Chronicle reporter Raymond L. Smith contributed to this story.