Elkhart County 4-H Fair
|Elkhart County 4-H Fair|
Elkhart County 4-H Fair Carnival
|Begins||July 20, 2018|
|Ends||July 28, 2018|
|Previous event||July 21–29, 2017|
The Elkhart County 4-H Fair is conducted annually in Goshen, Indiana and is one of the largest county fairs in the country. In 2017, 202,560 guests visited the Fair during the 9 day event. The Elkhart County 4-H Fair is known for its free grandstand entertainment and concerts. Over 4000 Elkhart county youth are involved in 4-H, displaying 8000 projects at the Fair annually.
The Elkhart County 4-H Fair started in 1851 on Goshen, Indiana's courthouse square. Its goal was to give local farmers a place to learn about new farming techniques and a chance to compete for excellence in farming. During the American Civil War, the fair had to take a small break. Soon after, the fair looked for new ways to get urban dwellers interested in the fair resulting in more profit. In the early 1870s attendance skyrocketed when baseball games, sideshow performers, and horse races became the popular attractions at the fair. Twenty years later the County Fair featured a festival ride and merry-go-round, which became the fair's midway.
The Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds
The Elkhart County Fairgrounds hosts over 150 events during year when the Fair is not being held. The fairgrounds consists of 384 acres (1.55 km2) with 70 buildings and over 300 permanent RV sites in addition to 600 temporary RV sites. One of the most popular non-fair events are RV travel rallies. In 2017, 12 RV travel rallies were hosted at the fairgrounds. In 2011, the fair board completed the purchase of an additional 253 acres (1.02 km2) to the east of the existing fairgrounds. Planners are considering the use of the land for additional parking, camping, or exhibit space.
The Elkhart County 4-H fair has been widely regarded as one of the best county fairs in the nation. When the fair is not in season, the fairgrounds stays busy with other events including the RV Rallies, Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale and is a year-round public campground.
The Elkhart County 4-H Fair Week
Elkhart County 4-H Fair Attendance: 2009: 258,832; 2010: 255,315; 2011: 235,495; 2012: 244,883; 2013: 280,175; 2014: 269,064; 2015: 255,253; 2016: 183,000; 2017: 202,560
The 4-H Fair Week Grandstand Events
- On the first Friday of the fair, the fair officially opens with a traditional ribbon cutting. The annual cheerleading contest takes place in the afternoon, with local high schools, middle schools, and gyms competing for first place. Senior Queen Contest is held on the Main Stage later in the evening. The evening then wraps up with the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Queen Contest where 50 young women compete for the title.
- On Saturday the Harness racing takes place in the early afternoon and the evening ends with a concert featuring a popular singing group, band or artist.
- On Sunday of the fair, also known as Family Day, no fair admission is charged. The famous Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade goes past the grandstands in the afternoon. Highlighting the parade is the "parade 5000", in which hundreds of Indiana's runners come here for the win. Later in the evening, a popular featured Christian singing group or band plays at the grandstands.
- On Monday, Harness racing takes up most of the day and ending the day with another popular singing group, band, or artist.
- On Tuesday, also known as Senior Citizens Day, more Harness racing takes place for most of the day and the day ends again with another popular singing group, band, or artist.
- On Wednesday, also known as Kid's Day, the grandstands don't feature any events until another popular singing group, band, or artist performs that evening.
- On Thursday, the Tractor pulls compete all day long featuring different classes of tractors including antique tractors and Lucas Oil PPL Tractors.
- On Friday the Rodeo takes place all day long with a second rodeo in the evening. In between the two rodeos, the annual horse pulling contest takes place in the early evening.
- On Saturday, the last day of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, the classic car cruise-in takes place in the infield during the day and the Demolition Derby ends the fair week.
There are approximately 600 volunteers for the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. The entire fair board is volunteer and sometimes fair board and other volunteers take a weeks vacation to volunteer their time.
Future Fair Dates
- July 20–28, 2018
- July 19-27, 2019
- July 24 - Aug 1, 2020
- July 23-31, 2021
- July 22-30, 2022
- "Nonprofit Report for ELKHART COUNTY 4-H & AGRICULTURAL EXPOSITION INC". Guidestar.org. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- Purdue Alumni Club of Elkhart County Archived 2006-04-11 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Elkhart County Historical Museum". Elkhartcountyhistoricalmuseum.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "Year-Around Information for the Elkhart County Fairgrounds". 4hfair.org. Archived from the original on 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "Elkhart County 4-H Fair purchases land to grow its future". Etruth.com. 2011-07-22. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "The Elkhart County 4-H Fair". 4hfair.org. Archived from the original on 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "Attractions". Goshen.org. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "Fair Queen Pageant - Elkhart County". 4hfair.org. 2012-04-02. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "Clubs and organizations". Etruth.com. 2009-08-19. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2012-05-13.