Alcohol and Gambling at the Bloomsburg Fair

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Typically when we think of the Bloomsburg Fair, we think of food, animals, and rides, but this year we can add alcohol and gambling to that list.

For the first time ever, you can buy alcohol at the Bloomsburg Fair. There are also wine samples. But don't worry, people are not getting drunk at the fair. The samples are very small and heavily controlled.

Juniata Valley Winery from Mifflin is offering tastings, up to six per person.

"The state requires that we only require a minimal amount of wine per sampling. We are working very closely with the fair. We are only offering about an eighth of an ounce per taste," said George Hazard, Juniata Valley Winery.

Fairgoers are also able to buy wine. Those bottles are corked and must stay that way until the buyer gets home.

"We also have labels on the bottles telling people they cannot consume alcohol here at the fair," Hazard added.

Nectar of the Vine has samples, too. The samples are non-alcoholic, but this company sells wine slushy mixes.

"You add the alcohol to it. It's an equal part wine, water, and mix. You mix it and freeze it. It's that simple," said Peter Kass, Nectar of the Vine.

Speaking of alcohol, why not mix it with dessert? Makin' Whoopie Pies collaborated with Turkey Hill Brewing Company from Bloomsburg. Together, they created alcohol-infused whoopie pies. The alcohol burns off in the cooking process, but you still get the flavor.

"We mixed some of their beers and some of our fillings to see what it would taste like. It came out amazing. Our bakery whipped it all together for us, so here we are," said Kelly Colletti, Makin' Whoopie Pies.

Something else the Bloomsburg Fair tried out this year and plans to continue next year is gambling.

The Bloomsburg Fair acquired a small games of chance license to generate new interest in harness racing, which was over the weekend. The stakes weren't too high, though with bets at one dollar each.

"You bought three tickets for one dollar. You ripped them up, and you put them in the respective cup for what horse you thought was going to win," said John Brokenshire, superintendent of harness racing.

All proceeds the Bloomsburg Fair made from gambling went to 4-H scholarships.

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