In 1870, still recovering from the Civil War, the first fair in Linn County was held. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 had provoked border conflicts and some of the most brutal struggles took place in Linn County. With Missouri on the eastern boundary, Linn County was in the heart of "Bleeding Kansas." The War left many casualties but the pioneer spirit prevailed, and soon this rich agricultural region would yield bountiful harvests again. As a result of this, the Linn County Fair was started. As an event where friends and neighbors met to display the fruits of their labor. It remains one of the largest and best fairs in the state of Kansas.
The origin of the fair dates back to pre-Christian times when herders and merchants would come together at festivals to exhibit and sell their wares. During the sixteenth century in England, privately owned marketplaces in the cities largely replaced fairs and livestock markets. In America, some fairs became so large that they assigned certain days for classes of entry, generally providing nightly games and entertainment. The farming regions of the Midwest regarded fairs as the social event of the year.
In 1876 the people of Linn County could attend two excellent fairs. One in LaCygne under the authority of the Agricultural Society and the other in Mound City sponsored by the Agricultural and Mechanical Association. The one in LaCygne was listed as the Linn County Fair. On October the 4th. 5th and 6th. Later in the month, the First Annual Fair of the Linn County Agricultural and Mechanical Association began at Mound City. Many people attended both fairs to see the hundreds of entries from farmers merchants and housewives of the local communities. The competition between the two organizations benefited fairgoers, as each tried to create a larger and more spectacular event. The organization both held fairs over the next few years. From 1884-1889 the Pleasanton Kansas Fair Association sponsored their own fair. During these six years Linn County offered three different fairs for people to enjoy and attendance records show that most people in the area attended each of them.
In 1938 the Linn County Fair Association voted to once again conduct a fair at Mound City. After canceling the event at that location for the last two years, the fair board decided on a rodeo for entertainment A parade passed down the main street of Mound City using "Settlement Days" as a theme. The parade featured horses, covered wagons and Pete Data's Cowboy Band. The financial situation of many people kept them from the fair but the addition of the rodeo did help attendance in the afternoons.
Numerous people in the county work hard in preparation for the fair. The people on the board spend many hours working for its continuance. No one receives pay, only the enjoyment of watching others have a good time. Even though the fair is located in Mound City, the various county residents who attend and help, make it truly a Linn County Fair. "See You At The Fair" is one of the advertising themes that has been used for many years. And a person can usually see friends and neighbors at the fair. The fair which helped to heal the wounds of war, economic and natural disasters continues to provide a sense of Community.
Monday, Dec 6, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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