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The term originated from the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois, in 1893. It was the first world's fair with an area for amusements which was strictly separated from the exhibition halls. This area, which was concentrated on the city's Midway Plaisance, included amusement rides (among them the original Ferris Wheel), belly dancers, balloon rides, and other attractions.
After the Exposition, the term midway came into use[when?] as a common noun in the United States and Canada to refer to the area for amusements at a county or state fair, circus, festival, or amusement park.
- Sideshow alley – term for a similar concept in Australia
- Midway. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 2 Aug 2012, from CollinsDictionary.com Web site: "a place in a fair, carnival, etc, where sideshows are located" http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/midway