Benton County Fair Kicks Off, Alcohol Sales Available For The First Time

BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) — The Benton County Fair kicked off Tuesday (Aug. 6) and there’s a new feature that some adults might like.

Alcohol sales will be available for the first time ever, and that’s not all.

Kotey Richey is a blacksmith who started playing with railroad spikes at a very young age. Now, he’s turned it into a full-time business.

Richey says he enjoys the lost art and is happy to be bringing his talents for the first time to the Benton County Fair.

“It’s fun. I like the heat and I like hammering and making something out of nothing," Richey said.

The Benton County Fair is celebrating its 115th anniversary and things have changed since it started in 1904.

More than 30, 000 people are expected to walk through the gates and check out over 50 vendors, nearly 1,000 animals and for the first time in the fair’s history, adults can buy beer.

Kids from all over the area participate in 4-H and entries for this year’s shows are up by more than 100 people.

“It’s fun and my friends are here. It’s good for college applications, helps you get into college," Luke Coffee said.

Also new to the fair, Bentley Gilbert, the owner of Heavenly Woodworking out of Omaha, Arkansas.

"I take a piece of wood, like that right there, and you start seeing something in it and I like creating it," Gilbert said. "I like making people happy when they see one, they like, they buy it, and they’re tickled with it and that makes me feel good."

The fair got a temporary alcohol beverage permit to sell local craft beer, domestic beer and canned margaritas.

Alcohol sales are from noon until 10 p.m. only on Friday (Aug. 9) and Saturday (Aug. 10).

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