Alcohol-free Iroquois County Fair sets great example – Kankakee Daily Journal

Whoever said you can’t have fun without alcohol never visited the Iroquois County Fair.

The annual event will return to the fairgrounds near Crescent City on Wednesday and will continue a long tradition of avoiding alcohol sales. While a beer tent is a fixture at most county fairs, the Iroquois version remains dry.

There’s a long-standing philosophy behind it, said fair president Marvin Perzee.

The fair once was held on rented property in Milford, but a more stable site was sought, and organizers entered into an agreement to buy the current fairgrounds on contract in 1961. One of the stipulations of the contract was no alcohol be served at the event. When the sale was completed, the rule was preserved.

“We’re really a strong youth fair,” Perzee said. “We didn’t feel it was right.”

Fair leaders deserve applause for that approach. Most importantly, it sets a good example for the young people who are the fair’s focus. Alcohol abuse has plagued society for centuries, and the roots of addiction often are planted early.

But they are not being planted at the Iroquois County Fair. It’s an approach others should consider.

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