Loudonville Street Fair

Loudonville, OH 44842


The Loudonville "Agricultural Exhibitions", or Fairs, date back to at least 1876. Back of this date no records show activities along this line.

A news item in the local paper, dated October 7, 1938, gives an account of a fair being held October 14 -16, 1885. It was called the Loudonville Independent Agricultural Association Fair.
These early fairs were held on the land went of North Mt. Vernon Ave., in the vicinity of the high school building and athletic field, in an open privately-owned field. It was held each year until 1888, when the town's streets and Central Park became the "fairground". What prompted this move was when the farmer of the privately-owned field unexpectedly planted and forced the Association to find another location.

At these early fairs, balloon ascension (with parachute jump finales) were standard fare, as were wire walking, juggling, high-diving, and acrobatic acts. Agricultural product displays were positively huge, occupying most of Main Street from one end of the business district to the other. Tents for exhibiting livestock covered most of Central Park. Music, often provided by town bands from nearby small communities-such as Hayesville, Perrysville, Butler, and Shreve-filled the air.

The Street Fair has always been a homecoming event; a  time when those who had been reared in the community and had scattered to make their fortunes, returned to greet old friends. Early fairgoers from Shreve, Wooster, and Ashland traveled by horse and buggy. The Pittsburg-Chicago Railroad brought people from Shelby, Mansfield, Canton, and Coshocton areas.Newspaper accounts of the fairs typically used headlines like "Best of All", "Another Great Success", or "Usual Fine Weather", but the weather did not always cooperate. In 1907, the fair was spoiled by a sudden and untimely heavy rain which soaked those in attendance. This prompted the Mansfield News to opine, "From all indications it will be the last street fair for our neighboring town". That newspaper no longer exists, but the Loudonville Street Fair is still going strong.

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