Washington Town and Country Fair

1261 Veterans Drive
Washington, MO 63090

636-239-2715

History:

The Washington Town and Country Fair, consistently one of the three largest fairs in Missouri, features big name entertainment, a large midway, tractor and truck pulls, livestock shows, and displays of artists and merchants. The Fair originated in 1872 as the Franklin County Agricultural and Mechanical Society Fair. The original 14 acres purchased by the Society for its fair is still part of the city park which is the location of the current fair. In its first year, an amphitheater, art hall, and a circular race track were built. Events for that first fair included horse racing, the display of farm and industry products, a fine arts and handiwork exhibit, bicycle races, barbecue, band music, foot races, and greased-pig chasing. For a few years, there were balloon ascensions -- some pilots landed in the nearby Missouri River, giving the participants quite a dousing, and the spectators some extra excitement. In 1917, the Franklin County Agricultural and Mechanical Society Fair passed a resolution to discontinue to fair. It was felt that it was passé, and young people were not interested, especially since the automobile had begun to replace the horse, once a main component of the agricultural fair.

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