After all, beer was served at many other events at the fairgrounds. Why not the fair?
"We were serving it all the time and we weren't comfortable with the idea that we had outside organizations with mobile liquor licenses and operating on our grounds," Schenck said.
Once the fair secured its own state license, alcohol sales started with beer and a big-screen television at the Fairview Café, which Schenck called, "more or less a sports bar."
New this year, the name has been changed to Fairgrounds Sports Bar. It's the fair's concession that Penn State football is still a big part of Saturday afternoons for many, Schenck said.
"We understood there were some fathers who were unfairly dragged to the fair and they didn't want to ride the merry-go-round," he said. "They wanted to watch the football game. ... So we're just trying to make everybody happy."
Also new this year, an outdoor bar is being added near Memorial Hall, close to the country radio stage. Sponsored by Anheuser Busch, the outdoor bar is the fourth area patrons can buy and consume beer during the fair.
A beer garden on the plaza grandstand is another area and, added last year, the tiki bar under the grandstand will return. The tiki bar includes tropical drinks, a thatch roof and palm trees to put fair goers in a beach state of mind.
"It was really popular last year," Schenck said.
All alcohol sales will be geared towards evenings and weekends, Schenck said, and extra security personnel are on duty in those areas. Bartenders are all RAMP (Responsible Alcohol Management Program) trained and the fair has never had a problem with alcohol use, he added.
"We came late to this party because there were people who thought that a fair should never sell a beer," Schenck said. "We saw it differently. You can't go to a sporting event now without seeing beer. ... If it's what the consumers want, you have to give it to them to stay in business."
Check out these other new attractions at the fair:
Admission deal -
$3 fair admission for kids and teens 6 to 18 and
college students with student ID
Butter sculpture -
Memorial Hall West
Ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher - Daily performances in Heritage Hall
The Procrastinators - Drumming troupe will stroll the Fairgrounds daily
Team Ironmill - Strongman Challenges daily; 2012 PA Strongman Competition Sept. 15
For details about more free fun, including pig races, draft horses and a petting zoo, visit www.yorkfair.org/free_attractions.htm.