History of the Fair

History of the Fair

In the early 1800s, the first agricultural fairs gave rural families an opportunity to celebrate their harvests and to see first hand the latest of agricultural techniques, state-of-the–art equipment, innovative crops, and showcase livestock breeds. The fairs also gave businessmen in the area of agricultural or horticultural products an opportunity to present, display, and demonstrate the latest machinery and equipment on the market.

Over the course of the nineteenth century, fairs began to incorporate a wide range of educational, recreational, competitive, and social activities into their programs. Agricultural fairs celebrated human progress, science, education, and the agrarian ideal. Today, fairgoers continue to celebrate agricultural achievements and enjoy exhibitions, food, carnival rides, entertainment, competitions, and well-known concert performers.

The Albemarle County Fair features colorful carnival rides and tents bustling with local vendors and live music, all set against the picturesque backdrop of Central Virginia’s farmlands. Nearly 30,000 people take part in this annual celebration of the industry of the area, a local tradition.

The Fair began in 1982 when a group of volunteers made a financial investment by loaning money to launch the first Fair. It is the continued support of community leaders, patrons, and businesses that make the fair successful year after year.

The Albemarle County Fair has something for everyone, including agriculture, livestock, craft exhibits, amusement rides, carnival games, live music, beauty pageants, and so much more. From the rides, provided by Rosedale Attractions and Amusements, to the Expo Tent, the Fair provides a variety of new experiences. Every year, the Fair expands to welcome new events and contests such as a jousting exhibit, pony rides, and a Civil War camp. Fried dough, candy apples, and cloggers are just a few of the things that signal the start of the fair. The Albemarle County Fair Board of Directors and organizers are delighted to welcome you to a fair that perfectly represents the county’s rural heritage, agricultural history, and natural beauty.