You make think you’ve seen it all at the state fair, but a renewed focus on the little things and striving to exceed expectation, this year’s fair promises to be one to remember.


How Did These Come About?

Records for where and when the first fair was held are hard to find, but scriptural records in the book of Ezekiel points to the existence of fairs as early as 500 BC. Fairs were commercial in character from the beginning, with merchants coming from distant countries, bringing native wares to trade with one another. 

In 1765, the first North American fair was presented in Windsor, Nova Scotia. In Ontario, Canada, a fair was held in 1792, sponsored by the Niagara Agricultural Society. Both the Windsor and the Niagara Fairs remain in operation today. 

New England patriot and farmer Elkanah Watson earned the title, “Father of U.S. agricultural fairs” by organizing the Berkshire Agricultural Society and creating an event (known then as a Cattle Show) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in September 1811. 

The core elements of those agricultural events of the early 1800s are at the heart of the agricultural fair in North America today, including competitions for the best agricultural and domestic products of the county or community. It also...