The Full Story

About the fairgrounds.....

History

1810
Agricultural fairs have been popular annual attractions of Vermont’s summer and fall seasons for at least 150 years. Fairs, as “a special kind of gathering for buying and selling, for holding contests, and for having a good time,” have existed since ancient times. The earliest commercial, or market, fairs evolved in medieval Europe, where they served as centers of European trade. In the United States, in the nineteenth century, fairs became major institutions of agricultural society. However, with their emphasis on plowing competitions, livestock exhibits and prizes for the best examples of products of the agricultural household, the American agricultural fair differed markedly from the fairs of Europe and those of the American colonial period. Apparently the first such fair in the United States was held in 1810 by the Berkshire Agricultural Society in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.


1834
By the 1840s and 1850s, county agricultural societies had been formed in Vermont and in many other parts of New England. A principle purpose of the societies was the holding of an “annual exhibit” or fair. Farm families brought their best livestock, produce, baked goods, and needlework for competition and blue ribbons. They exchanged information about improving the quality of their crops, and they enjoyed the opportunities for social exchange and good fun. In Vermont, the Caledonia Cattle Fair was organized as early as 1834. After 1838 annual shows were held for a number of years, eventually being superseded by the Caledonia County Agricultural Society, which was founded in 1844 in St. Johnsbury. The Society’s first county fair was held that year. The Rutland County Agricultural Society was formed and held its first fair in 1846 at Castleton. Except for 1917, when no fair was held in the state because of a polio epidemic, the Rutland fair has been an annual event ever since. In the 1840s annual fairs were also begun at Bennington, St. Albans, Burlington, and in Orleans and Addison counties. In September 1853, a “Vermont State Fair” was held on Seminary Hill (now the site of Vermont College) in Montpelier. Prizes at these fairs generally were provided with the aid of state appropriations and fairground gate receipts.


1846
The first Vermont State Fair took place in 1846, making it one of the oldest state fairs in the United States. Originally named the Rutland State Fair, the event started out as a one day event. The first fair took place in a field near Castleton, with Fredrick Button as the first President of the Rutland County Agricultural Society.

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History con't

1810
Agricultural fairs have been popular annual attractions of Vermont’s summer and fall seasons for at least 150 years. Fairs, as “a special kind of gathering for buying and selling, for holding contests, and for having a good time,” have existed since ancient times. The earliest commercial, or market, fairs evolved in medieval Europe, where they served as centers of European trade. In the United States, in the nineteenth century, fairs became major institutions of agricultural society. However, with their emphasis on plowing competitions, livestock exhibits and prizes for the best examples of products of the agricultural household, the American agricultural fair differed markedly from the fairs of Europe and those of the American colonial period. Apparently the first such fair in the United States was held in 1810 by the Berkshire Agricultural Society in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.


1834
By the 1840s and 1850s, county agricultural societies had been formed in Vermont and in many other parts of New England. A principle purpose of the societies was the holding of an “annual exhibit” or fair. Farm families brought their best livestock, produce, baked goods, and needlework for competition and blue ribbons. They exchanged information about improving the quality of their crops, and they enjoyed the opportunities for social exchange and good fun. In Vermont, the Caledonia Cattle Fair was organized as early as 1834. After 1838 annual shows were held for a number of years, eventually being superseded by the Caledonia County Agricultural Society, which was founded in 1844 in St. Johnsbury. The Society’s first county fair was held that year. The Rutland County Agricultural Society was formed and held its first fair in 1846 at Castleton. Except for 1917, when no fair was held in the state because of a polio epidemic, the Rutland fair has been an annual event ever since. In the 1840s annual fairs were also begun at Bennington, St. Albans, Burlington, and in Orleans and Addison counties. In September 1853, a “Vermont State Fair” was held on Seminary Hill (now the site of Vermont College) in Montpelier. Prizes at these fairs generally were provided with the aid of state appropriations and fairground gate receipts.


1846
The first Vermont State Fair took place in 1846, making it one of the oldest state fairs in the United States. Originally named the Rutland State Fair, the event started out as a one day event. The first fair took place in a field near Castleton, with Fredrick Button as the first President of the Rutland County Agricultural Society.

Vision

To create an all around equestrian center in Vermont for all horse disciplines

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