On your mark, Get set, Fair!

On your mark, Get set, Fair!

Sami Windle Around Goodland

On September 21, 22, and 23, 1886 Sherman County had its first fair! It looked different from the fair we know today.  They still had crafts, livestock, and agricultural products, but also had pony and horse races and a baseball game!

Since the county was only six months old at the time, buildings had to be erected.  Although money was tight the county pulled their money together and had buildings and a race track built within two weeks.  Posters, tickets and programs were all printed for the event in Northwest Kansas.  Some of the exhibits shown included pictures, embroidery and needlework, while the farm products were said to have represented more in quality than in quantity and everything was raised on sod ground.  Pumpkins, turnips, melons, corn, potatoes, squashes and millet were there for the whole county to see.  The big event of the first day was a horse race and roughly 250 people attended. 

"Spud" harness racing at the fair. Circa 1909-1916

The second day of the fair, attendance increased to 600 people where the livestock show took place.  The main event on this day was also a horse race.  This race was a real nail biter and was eventually won by a Eustis boy.  Shortly afterwards the baseball game was called where four teams competed.  It was a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.  At the end of the fair the Wano Band came and played for everyone.  With 150 entries, races and games the first fair in Sherman County was a success!