150th Anniversary of the Shelby County Fair!

Like always, there’s something for everyone at one of Iowa’s best county fairs

    COUNTY -- On Wednesday, July 10, the Shelby County Fair kicked off its annual celebration in Harlan. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the fair, and in that time many changes have been made.
    Shelby County Historical Society records indicate the first Shelby County Fair was held on October 2, 1869 at an unlisted location. Projects were presented in the brick schoolhouse that Harlan had with a few projects outside of the building.
    News articles from the fair’s early years claim that horse and foot races were the biggest events of the fair’s early days, bringing the entire county out to witness them. In 1879, the current fairgrounds that houses the fair was purchased and has been used to this day.
    Over time, many of the original buildings and locations of the fair have been lost. Currently, the oldest building standing is Floral Hall which was opened on August 14, 1890 and registered as a historical place in 1985. Renovations on the building were completed in 1986 by volunteers.
 

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