Dillsburg Farmer's Fair

North Baltimore Street
Dillsburg, PA 17019

717-432-7361

A Short History of Farmers' Fair:

In the early decades of the Twentieth Century Central Pennsylvania was largely rural and farming was a way of life for most of the population. Small towns like Dillsburg

supplied the everyday needs of the farming community and the success of local businesses depended on the goodwill of their farm customers.

The Dillsburg Farmers' Fair grew from annual farming institutes known as Farmer's Day held at the local high school as early as 1905. In 1911 exhibits filled two floors of the newly completed opera house during an event called Farmers' Fair. A major fire in 1913 brought a temporary end to these activities as the town struggled to build a new school and restore the downtown. In 1915 a group of prominent business leaders decided to establish an annual event that would draw farmers to town and promote goodwill between the farmers and local business establishments and provide the community with a homecoming and harvest celebration. Exhibits and contests were held at local business establishments and a Halloween 'fantastic parade was organized as an attraction.

World War I resulted in a two-year recess, but in the fall of 1919 the town revived the event in an enthusiastic celebration of the war's end. The annual event grew each year interrupted only by the Great Depression from 1929-1931 and again by World War II. In 1946 the traditional Farmers' Fair celebration was revived and has since been held each October.

Farming is no longer the predominate occupation and suburban development has consumed much of the farmland. But the rural character and traditions of the region have survived these changes and a growing population continues to enjoy the events of Farmers' Fair.

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