Summer fairs, including our own Ventura County Fair, have taken steps to change social norms and to make events safer and healthier for all who attend.
Ventura County Fair rules have changed around tobacco use and smoking on fairgrounds; since last year, smoking is only allowed in designated areas. Alcohol is still sold and marketed throughout the Fair, but it is forbidden to be brought in. Retailers also check IDs and issue wristbands when appropriate.
Fairs around the west have also done their part to increase safety and to promote healthier living. Marin County Fair (northern California) is a leader. Promoted as the “healthiest fair on Earth,” the Fair is smoke-free, and many food vendors offer sensible options. All alcohol vendors have received Responsible Beverage Service training, and the Fair’s beer sponsors were eliminated in 2004.
The Canyon County Fair in Idaho offers a regular alcohol-free family day, and the Annual Oregon Country Fair is an alcohol-free event.
However, there are reports that alcohol availability is increasing at Fairs around the US. It’s up to everyone to help change norms and keep everyone safe and healthy.
Resources and related links:
- Ventura County Fair
- Marin Voice: Healthy fare at the Marin County Fair goes national – Marin Independent Journal
- County fair food: How to make healthy food choices – Michigan State University
- Alcohol Free Family Day – Canyon County Fair
- Alcohol now more common at county fairs – Dayton Daily News (Ohio)