Poweshiek County Fair

425 East Street South
Grinnell, IA 50112

History :

The Poweshiek County Agricultural Society was formed in 1854 in Montezuma Iowa, a fair was held that year. Records were not regularly maintained until 1865. From 1867-1919 the fair was held south of Malcom. The grounds were fenced, had a racetrack and a building for agricultural & mechanical exhibits. Fairs were held each fall. Fairs were also held in Brooklyn. In 1949 land was purchased from the city of Grinnell. This land is located just north of the current fairgrounds. By 1950 enough funds had been collected to construct a community building. Volunteers did most of the construction. The 1st livestock barn used for cattle was also built in 1950. In 1954 2 more livestock barns (dairy & sheep/hogs) were built. A restaurant was also built. A covered arena was constructed in 1966. By 1984 there was a need for more room so the Poweshiek County Fairboard reached an agreement with Donaldsons Co. Inc. on a land swap. The fair would receive 14 acres sw of the existing grounds. Donaldsons would receive 5 acres which lies next to the company plant. By December 1985 the new Exhibit Building had been constructed and dedicated. Livestock barns, covered showring, shower house & horse arena followed. In the early 90's an additional 5 acres was purchased giving the fairgrounds approximately 18 acres total. In the years since the building of the new fairgrounds a 5th livestock barn, a fully enclosed building (known as the ProLine Building), several connecting sidewalks, additional camping hookups and additions to both the swine & cattle barns have been added. In 2005 a roof covering the cement patio on the south end of the Exhibit Building was constructed. State allocation funds, grants and donations have made these projects possible.

In 2006 a much needed addition to the existing ProLine building was made possible by a $20,000 grant from The Monsanto Fund. This addition houses rabbits and poultry. Previously these small animals were sharing a barn with horses. A renovation of the horse barn that formerly housed rabbits and poultry was also completed this year. Eight new horse stalls and stall fronts were installed along with pens specially created for the miniature horses and donkeys.

A raffle to raise operating funds for the fair was held in 2006 also. 100 tickets at $100 each were sold for Bossie Bingo. The response from the public was tremendous with all of the tickets sold in a matter of days. A $500 gift certificate from Dayton's Meat Products of Malcom was given as the prize. The profit to the fair was $9500. Finally in August of 2006 10 more electrical camping spots were donated and installed by Montezuma Municipal Light and Power brining the total of hook ups to 62.

Looking to the future, the fair would like to obtain more land needed for trailer parking. Other building renovations may be considered due to the continued growth of the Poweshiek County 4-H/FFA Fair.

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