HUTCHINSON – With the theme “Weird, wild and wonderful, the Kansas State Fair never gets old,” the 100th official Kansas State Fair opens Friday in Hutchinson and runs through Sept. 16.
While fairs were hosted in the state prior to then, the first official Kansas State Fair was held September 13-20, 1913 –thanks to a prior act of the state legislature to be recognized as the official Kansas State Fair. This gave the fair association the license to legitimately call their event The Kansas State Fair.
The House of Capper appeared on the fairgrounds about 1913. It offered a place to rest in rocking chairs stationed on the shaded veranda, a cool drink of water for thirsty visitors and, possibly most importantly, rest room facilities. The fair favorite Old Mill was completed in time for the opening day of the 1915 fair.
In addition, now the fair includes the midway, blue-ribbon animals, family-friendly activities, performers, agricultural and educational displays, prizes, carnival rides, food samples, enormous vegetables, odd artifacts, homemade crafts and the butter sculpture. The largest single event in the State, the Fair annually attracts approximately 350,000 people from all 105 Kansas counties and several other states.
There are also over 1,000 commercial vendors and 300,000 contest entries.
There are special activities scheduled daily. Those taking place today include:
• Reunion Day Sponsor: AEP Ethanol Processors
• Celebrity Grape Stomp
• Chocolate Cake Competition at Domestic Arts Building
• The Llamas Show
• The Victoria Justice concert
According to the KSF’s website, the mission of the fair is:
“To promote and showcase Kansas agriculture, industry and culture, to create opportunity for commercial activity, and to provide an educational and entertaining experience that is the pride of all Kansans.”
The fairgrounds have just recently been remodeled. The grounds’ facilities are also utilized throughout the year for a wide array of events, including horse and livestock shows, trade shows, flea markets, wedding receptions, family reunions, and company picnics.
For more information, call 620.669.3600, toll free 800.362.FAIR or visit www.kansasstatefair.com.