Augusta County, VA
With schools heading back into session you know it’s county fair time across Virginia! The Augusta County Fair wraps up this weekend on Saturday night – August 10, 2013. Though this is the 18th annual Augusta County Fair as it’s known today, the original fair has roots all the way back to 1868 when the first fair was held in Augusta.
History via Augusta County Fair Web:
The traditional county fair has been a part of Augusta County history for more than 140 years. The initial effort to establish a county fair began in 1811 when the Augusta Agricultural Society was organized.
The war of 1812 forced the group to temporarily drop their plans and they did not regroup until after the Civil War. In January 1867, Delegate Baldwin succeeded in passing a bill incorporating the Augusta County Fair. The very first Augusta County Fair was held from October 27-29, 1868
In 1889, the name of the fair was changed to the Baldwin District Fair and again in 1911 to the Augusta Indoor Fair.
From 1949 until 1953, the event was designated as the official State Fair of Virginia and expanded to one full week in length. In 1954 the State Fair of Virginia moved to its current location in Richmond. After the move, the local fair was re-named the Staunton-Augusta County Agricultural Fair.
In 1970, the assets and charter of the Augusta County Fair was purchased by a group of five investors which included Mr. Rex Spiece, Mr. Al Gore, and Mr. Ed Hammer, Mr. Elwood Simmons, and Mr. James Weaver. In 1971 the name of the fair was changed to the Greater Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Fair. Although not agricultural in emphasis, this fair is still in operation and held each year on the Eastside Speedway grounds on Rt. 340 in Dooms.
About this same time, another group of agricultural leaders and ruritan Club members in the County organized an effort to form a “agricultural fair” in Augusta county similar to those held in the past. The Augusta Agricultural and Industrial Exposition, or Augusta Expo as it is now known, opened on the grounds of the Wilson Elementary School near Fishersville in 1969. The initial Augusta Expo fair was held under tents for two years until it moved to its present 200 acre site in Tinkling Spring at the intersection of Interstate 64 and Rt. 608.
Augusta Expo sponsored an annual fair until 1992 when it was decided by the Board of Directors to cease having a county fair.
1993 – present
In September, 1993 a letter was sent out from David Fiske, Agriculture Extension Agent to civic Groups and interested individuals concerning a meeting to discuss starting the Augusta County Fair as we know it today. As a result of this meeting the first Augusta County Fair opened on Wednesday, August 23, 1995.
The Fair in the year 2012 will be the 18th year for the Augusta County Fair as we know it today.”
See you at the 2014 Augusta County Fair. For more information here on over to their website by clicking here.