Beer tent etiquette - The Buffalo News

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Beer tent etiquette

The Constitution of the United States may be the great equalizer, but we’d like to throw in beer tents, too. They are the place to meet up at local festivals, fairs, field days and lawn fetes, often with hilarious results. Why? Because most often, they seem to be in the town you grew up in. Haven’t we all run into someone who knows everything about us from high school, while we rack our brains to remember who the heck they are?

Where else do folks from all walks of life congregate in a setting that brings everything (and everyone) to the same level? At the beer tent, status, wealth, job title, real estate, perfect credit scores and whatever else you bring is left at the door.

Here are a few more reasons we WNYers love our beer tents:

Fashion: Shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, flip flops, sneakers? Let’s not get fancy. A beer tent is no place for anything but the lowest — er, most casual — end of your closet.

Atmosphere: Grass/dirt/cement flooring, poor lighting (that naked light bulb shining in your eyes), the occasional odd smell.

Beer: No fear of being judged by the beer you order — everyone else is drinking the same crap you are.

Food: Is there food? Well, maybe a hot dog or burger, or whatever you can con your kid into bringing back to you from one of the festival stands (only after shelling out another $20 for them to hit the midway so you can catch up with your long lost biology lab partner).

Sounds: Loud pop music from The Flying Bobs, and/or the high-pitched alarm of the squirt gun game you just gave your kid money to keep playing.

Musical entertainment: Possibly, and if so, likely from a very close (and loud) source in the tent that drowns out every other word you are saying.

People: “OMG, what happened to him?” runs through your mind…probably more than once.

Upcoming beer tents of note:

  • Niagara County Fair Aug. 2-6 (Lockport)
  • Eden Corn Festival Beer Barn Aug. 3-6
  • St. Christopher’s Summerfest Aug. 4-6 (Tonawanda)
  • Down Home Country Weekend Aug. 5-6 (Langford jamboree/tractor pull)
  • Erie County Fair Aug. 9-20
  • Corpus Christi Church Dozynki Polish Festival Sept. 29-Oct. 1 (Buffalo)

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