Saturday, July 29, 2017

Welcome to the Clearfield County Fair - A Short History

The Clearfield County Fair dates back to 1852. Originally called the Clearfield County Fair and Industrial Exhibition, it began with the organization of the Clearfield Agricultural Society which was chartered in 1854. In 1860, Clearfield and Curwensville held a contest to determine who would host the Fair.  

Clearfield won the contest by raising more subscription money, and it was established as the site, except in 1895 and 1896, when Grampian was used so that a track would be available for harness racing. In 1870, the Clearfield Driving Park became the permanent fair grounds. In the early 1900's, the Fair was held irregularly. However, in 1925, two permanent buildings, the grandstand and the exposition hall were constructed.

Changes occured in the 1930s when the crash of the stock market in 1934 caused the 1935 fair to be briefly suspended. The Clearfield Volunteer Fire Department procured its management in 1938 and extended its length to a full week, adding a first fireman’s parade. The Clearfield Volunteer Department is made up from four fire companies, one from each ward of Clearfield Borough. They are Company Number One, Second Ward, Third Ward Hose Company, Elk hose Company. Each fire company elects three persons from their membership to form the Clearfield Volunteer Fire Department Fair and Park Board.

The James E. Strates Shows made their first appearance in 1937 and continued for over thirty years. When the railroad ran through Clearfield, it was tradition to watch them load their show on the train in downtown Clearfield after the Fair was over.

In 1944 and 1945, there were no fairs because of World War Two. Originally, the ownership of the fairgrounds belonged to bondholders, most of whom turned their bonds over to the firemen as a donation to see the Fair continue. The Grandstand Company owned the grandstand. Then later, the Clearfield Borough Park Authority paid off the remainder of the outstanding bonds.

In the late 1970's, the Fair Board entered a lease agreement with Clearfield Borough to take over the management of the fair grounds and buildings. Since then the Fair Board has been responsible for renovations and improvements into the fairgrounds, also known as the Clearfield Driving Park.

Each year, the fair draws large crowds of young and old from the surrounding areas and around the state for the sights, sounds and tastes unique to the gala. There is something for everyone—rides, games, good food, animal and trade exhibitions, harness racing, fair queen and her court, and great grandstand entertainment.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting all that a fair can go through over the years.

    Hi, Judy! It's been a long time since I've visited or talked to you through the great Web. ;) I hope all is well with you.