Kansas State Fair
|Kansas State Fair|
|Dates||10 days (starts Friday following Labor Day in September) |
|Location(s)||Hutchinson, Kansas, USA |
|Years active||1913 to Present |
|Attendance||Approximately 350,000 |
Kansas State Fair is a State Fair that is held annually, starting the Friday following Labor Day in September, and lasts for 10 days at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas, United States. The 2014 State Fair will run from September 5 through September 14. It is the largest single event in the State, and annually attracts approximately 350,000 people from all 105 Kansas counties and several other states.
Early State Fairs
Early Reno County Fairs
The first fair association was made on January 18, 1873, when Reno County Agricultural Society was created. On September 23–24, 1873, the society hosted a fair which was held in a small wooden livery stable behind the bank on the northwest corner of Sherman and Main in Hutchinson.
Encouraged by the success of this first event, plans began for a bigger fair in 1874, with the society proposing a tax levy to support the event, but voters rejected the idea. Though turned down, the Agricultural Society pushed ahead and found acreage southeast of where the state reformatory would later be located, paid cash for the grounds, and on September 28–30 of 1875, presented the First Annual Reno County Fair. It featured 20 classes for entries, with most awards in the form of certificates, and a few $5 cash prizes. Agricultural exhibitions were also held during the years 1876 and 1877.
The Reno County Agricultural and Joint Stock Association was incorporated on September 2, 1878. In 1878, new grounds were purchased just north of Eastside Cemetery, and fairs were held there through the early 1880s.
Reorganized and renamed the Arkansas Valley Fair Association, the fair was moved back to its previous grounds for the 1885 event. These grounds southeast of the present Hutchinson Correctional Facility grew in the late 1880s and 1890s. New buildings were added nearly every year. A fence surrounded the property and the half-mile racetrack.
Official State Fair
The present state fair had its beginning on February 7, 1901, when a few men met to talk about organizing a fair association. The board of directors met on April 24, 1901 to elect officers. The name Central Kansas Fair Association was created. The fair was held in 1901 on 50 acres of land, which stretched along the east side of Main Street to Poplar, from 11th Avenue north to 17th Avenue in Hutchinson. The land was leased in trade for 10 percent of the gate receipts in 1901.
In 1903, the Central Kansas Fair was recognized by an act of the state legislature to give the fair association the license to legitimately call their event "The Kansas State Fair".
In 1912, 112 acres of land north of 17th Avenue and east of Main Street were purchased for expansion. It was decided for bonds to pay for this new land was put to a vote by Reno County voters in April 1913, and won by a margin of 4 to 1. A bill was passed in the Kansas Congress to grant Hutchinson fair monetary support, the city would give the state the fairgrounds. The first "Official" Kansas State Fair was held September 13–20, 1913.
The House of Capper is a covered Veranda that was built in 1916. It was formerly a shaded place to rest, the Professional Arts Building, and a bandstand at one time. The Old Mill was completed for the opening of the 1915 fair. One thousand feet of water-filled channels featured boats which promised to transport passengers through "gloomy caves of gleesome gladness". The Cottonwood Court was built in 1928 and renovated in 2003. The building was originally used as an automobile building, which later became the Commercial Building, the finally the Cottonwood Court. The Grandstand was built in 1930. The Domestic Arts Building was built in 1930 and renovated in 2003. In 1931, a sandpit was landscaped and rename as Lake Talbott. The Encampment Building was built in 1934. It was home to POWs and State Fair Soldiers during WWII.
The fairgrounds consists of 280 acres with over 70 buildings, and 25 full-time year-round staff.
Admission prices vary by age group, except on special price days: Seniors (60 years and above), Adults (13 to 59 years), Child (6 to 12 years), Child (under 6 years). The youngest group under 6 has always been free.
In 2013, $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $4 for child. Advance tickets were $6, $4, $3. On Monday, $1 per person, free with Dillon's Shopper Plus Card. On Thursday, $4 after 4PM per person.
In 2013, the grandstand hosted: Toby Keith, Theory of a Deadman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kansas, Jars of Clay, Bridgit Mendler, Eli Young Band with Mockingbird Sun, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers with Billy Dean.
In 2012, the grandstand hosted: Boston, Heart, 38 Special, Victoria Justice with Max Schneider, The Oak Ridge Boys with Jimmy Fortune, Chris Cagle, Casting Crowns, Billy Currington with Jake Owen.
The Fair has over 1,000 commercial exhibit locations; for competition, with over 30,000 entries in various competitive exhibit departments; for education, through its Kansas' Largest Classroom field trip program; and for entertainment with strolling and stage entertainment in addition to the national acts performing at the grandstand.
In addition to the annual State Fair, the Fairgrounds facilities are utilized throughout the year for a wide array of events, including horse and livestock shows, RV rallies, trade shows, flea markets, wedding receptions, family reunions, and company picnics, to name just a few.
- About the Fair; kansasstatefair.com
- The History of the Kansas State Fair; kansasstatefair.com
- Poster for 1887 Kansas State Fair in Topeka, Kansas; kansasmemory.org
- Poster for 1895 Kansas State Fair in Wichita, Kansas; kansasmemory.org
- History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas Publisher; 1883.
- History of Reno County, Kansas : Its People, Industries, and Institutions; Volume 1; Sheridan Ploughe; Bowen and Company; 445 pages; 1917.
- House of Capper building info; kansasstatefair.com
- Cottonwood Court building info; kansasstatefair.com
- Grandstand building info; kansasstatefair.com
- Domestic Arts Building info; kansasstatefair.com
- Lake Talbott info; kansasstatefair.com
- Encampment Building info; kansasstatefair.com
- Building Info; kansasstatefair.com
- 2012 Admission Prices; kansasstatefair.com
- History of Grandstand Performances
- Kansas State Fair announces first round of 2013 acts; The Wichita Eagle; February 28, 2013.
- 2012 Entertainment; kansasstatefair.com
- 2011 Entertainment; Wayback Machine Internet Archive
- 2010 Entertainment; Wayback Machine Internet Archive
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kansas State Fair.|
- History of the Kansas State Fair, KansasStateFair.com
- Historic Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, KansasMemory.org