NY bill would extend permits for alcoholic beverage sales to 2021 state fair

FILE – Montezuma Winery operates a wine slushy stand at the New York State Fair in 2018. 

Megan Ehrhart

A bill introduced by a Syracuse state senator would allow vendors to use their permits to sell alcoholic beverages at the 2020 New York State Fair for this year’s event. 

State Sen. Rachel May is the sponsor of the measure that would extend the permits issued for alcoholic beverage sales to the 2021 state fair. The fair was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To sell alcoholic beverages at the fair, vendors must obtain a temporary license. The permits are issued for that year’s fair, which means that vendors have to apply for a new license every year. 

Because of the fair’s cancellation in 2020, May, D-Syracuse, wants to give vendors a break this year. She wants them to be able to use the permits issued last year for the 2021 state fair. 

Vendors pay a $260 fee for the temporary permit, according to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. 

“The New York State Fair is a huge economic driver in upstate,” May said. “So many of our vendors are small businesses that rely on the fair for a large portion of their yearly earnings. Like many other sectors, the pandemic hit these businesses hard and we must do what we can to ease their burden.” 

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