So, we know that state fairs have strong agriculture roots, but what about such events as the rodeo and the carnival? Really these are just specific names for regional fairs. A rodeo may be found more in the Southwest and feature more cattle and other livestock. A carnival may have more rides or events, but they are still celebrations that bring people together.
Reaching back even further, fairs have a strong tie to the harvest festivals of ancient times. Celebrating the harvest seems to be something mankind has always done. A good harvest was a reason to celebrate as it meant that you would survive the winter. The first harvest festival recorded and still celebrated today is the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Other cultures had their harvest celebrations as well. Pagan countries often had many rituals to insure and then celebrate the harvest.
Fairs became such huge events that several now famous World’s Fairs and Exhibitions were held in such places such as California, Missouri and London. These were so that the whole world could enjoy and share in mankind’s inventions and advancements!