Agriculture,  Culinary History,  Fair,  Farming,  Food History,  History

State Fairs: An All-American Pastime

The history of American state fairs can easily traces its roots back to the early 1800s. For years, America was an agriculture-driven nation. The American state fair grew out of these strong agricultural ties. State fairs are uniquely American as we are a country of united states. The first American state fair was really a sheep shearing demonstration and livestock show. It was held in Syracuse, New York and was started by a man named Elkanah Watson. 

Fairs use to be the event looked forward to by many farm families and something they often planned for days or even all year. Sometimes it was the last major event of the year where the whole town could come together before the snows set in. Often bigger state fairs started out as small county or town fairs where agriculture and livestock were the central focus.

Modern day state fairs are a nostalgic way for a culture strayed from the farm to return for a few days to its roots. Modern day state fairs are full of fun competitions, rides, displays, food and history. State fairs are such a part of the American culture that they have even often found their way into movies! Who can forget the catchy tune of the opening song of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1962 classic musical, named appropriately, – State Fair?


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