History of the Fair

A tradition since 1905

In the early decades of the Twentieth Century Central Pennsylvania was largely rural and farming was a way of life for most of the population. Small towns like Dillsburg supplied the everyday needs of the farming community and the success of local businesses depended on the goodwill of their farm customers. The Dillsburg Farmers' Fair grew from annual farming institutes known as Farmer's Day held at the local high school as early as 1905. In 1911 exhibits filled two floors of the newly completed opera house during an event called Farmers' Fair. A major fire in 1913 brought a temporary end to these activities as the town struggled to build a new school and restore the downtown. In 1915 a group of prominent business leaders decided to establish an annual event that would draw farmers to town and promote goodwill between the farmers and local business establishments and provide the community with a homecoming and harvest celebration. Exhibits and contests were held at local business establishments and a Halloween 'fantastic parade was organized as an attraction.

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