2014-Celebrating Our 175th Anniversary of the Lenawee County Fair!
The Lenawee County Fair 2014 is celebrating its 175th Anniversary as the longest running fair in Michigan. Just think- the Lenawee County Fair began in a small warehouse on South Main Street in downtown Adrian 175 years ago. Early fairs were housed in a number of locations. In 1879 the Agricultural Society of Lenawee County moved to more spacious grounds on the east side of Adrian holding yearly fairs there to this day. These fairs faced some challenges that might have discouraged a less sturdy stock of fair enthusiasts. Do you imagine that the organizers in the early 1800’s could envision the upcoming 2014 Lenawee County Fair and a fair tradition that is now in its 175th year? Probably not when you think of the immense historical events and the multitude of significant changes in our county as well as in our world that have taken place since the founding days of this fair’s organization. The Lenawee County Fair Historical Museum has fair information and materials on display during fair week. One of those documents is a Constitution for Organizing a Society for the Promotion of Agriculture in the County of Lenawee dated 1839.
How did all of this come to be? Settlers of Lenawee came into the region in 1824. Lands were rapidly acquired and worked. While lumbering, farming, building homes, and carving out roads took a great deal of the pioneers’ time and energy, they also were developing communities, going to church, sending children to school, establishing business opportunities, & becoming involved in politics. Once the land was developed to be suitable for farming, almost the entire county was devoted to agricultural growth with a rich base for this economy. Lenawee County became renowned for its agricultural expertise and crop/animal production. A logical outcome of this agricultural dominance was the organizing of a fair in the early 1800’s where farmers brought their corn, wheat, hay and vegetables to display at the fair as the harvest season marked the end of summer and the beginning of the fall county fair festivities. To this day, exhibitors and 4-H youth showcase their farm products and static exhibits, celebrate their champion livestock, and enjoy the fair’s family fun.
Stayed tuned for more fair facts as we approach the Lenawee County Fair to be held July 20 – July 26, 2014. The current fair Board members and a multitude of volunteers want to bring you this year’s fair as an Anniversary Party celebrating a milestone in our history while promising exciting and eventful activities for the current year. Our 175th planning committee is busy coordinating history with present day to provide fair-goers with the best fair yet! *
(Some information summarized from: Lenawee County, An Illustrated History by Charles N. Lindquist)
*Any of our readers or fair fans with favorite fair memories and/or historical fair information, please contact the fair office to be referred to the 175th committee. Thank you.