Tennessee State Fair
|Tennessee State Fair|
The Tennessee State Fair is an annual state fair, held in Nashville, Tennessee. The fair is generally held in the second week of September, as well as the weekends surrounding it. The fair regularly has attendance over 200,000 people per year. The State Fairgrounds have been under scrutiny since Nashville Mayor Karl Dean announced the closure of the fairgrounds in 2009. After much controversy, a referendum on the city's ability to redevelop the fairgrounds for other uses was held, with the voters choosing to increase the required votes to make changes from a simple majority to two-thirds majority. The Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission has granted the Tennessee State Fair to the non-profit organization Tennessee State Fair Association through 2018.
The first Tennessee State Fair was held in 1869, but only lasted a few years. The property where the old fairs were held on was later used for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, and has since become known as Centennial Park. The current incarnation of the State Fair began in 1906, and has been held annually, except for four years during World War II, through the Great Depression, a 1965 fire that destroyed the majority of the fairgrounds, and a 1970 fire that ruined the fair's coliseum. Originally run by the State of Tennessee, the state relinquished control of the fair to Davidson County in 1923, who created The Metropolitan Board of Fair Commissioners to operate the fair. In 2011, the Metropolitan Board of Fair Commissioners leased the event to the Tennessee State Fair Association, a non-profit created to operate the State Fair.