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Fears of a beer-free Utah Oktoberfest dry up

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm •  Published: June 24, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The beer will flow at a Utah Oktoberfest, after the state liquor board backed off its warning that the long-running German celebration of all things ale could go dry this year.

Utah's state liquor board on Tuesday voted unanimously to grant a license for Snowbird Ski Resort's 12-week event, now in its fourth decade.

"It's clear that this is a valuable community event," said board Chairman David Gladwell, "and that there's tremendous community support." Resort managers say next to a fresh batch of snow, Oktoberfest is the resort's second biggest draw.

Oktoberfest proponents say the celebration isn't just about beer, but showcases food, folk dancing and other activities, fueling an otherwise slow season for northern Utah tourism.

Earlier this year, the state liquor board warned Snowbird that it might withhold the liquor permit, reserving it instead for a charitable event.

The commission cited a stricter interpretation of the law in issuing the warning when questioned by Utah lawmakers. But it agreed to rethink the new approach.

Commissioners said earlier this month they were simply trying to "tighten up" oversight of such permits.

It was a fair move, board member Jeff Wright told reporters after the meeting.

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