Sheboygan County Fair

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Organized in 1851, the Sheboygan County Agricultural Society held a fair from 1851 to 1890 in Sheboygan Falls. While most years the fair was successful and fairgoers described the entries as “very fine,” numerous problems plagued the events. The only way to get to the fair was by foot, ox team, or horse. For some, the journey spanned multiple days. Families bedding down in their wagon overnight had to bring along enough hay to feed the horses. Fairgoers complained of a lack of stable space for the animals, rain, mud, dullness, and the “great annoyance caused by a 10-cent admittance fee.” In 1890, the Sheboygan Driving Park Fair was held in Sheboygan, replacing the Sheboygan Falls event for five years. With no fair in 1869, the Sheboygan County Agricultural Association was organized, and the group located suitable land for the fairgrounds east of the city of Plymouth. Work began immediately on the 23-acre plot. An average of 12 volunteer horse and oxen teams worked daily to grade the land for a half-mile racetrack. Two grandstands were also built. The first fair was held at Plymouth in 1897 and was a great success. Before the construction of permanent buildings, the fair used tents for coverage. Today, two of the original buildings remain a part of the fairgrounds. The efforts of the Plymouth Women’s Club helped build the Household-Education Building in 1916. Additionally, fundraising by the Sheboygan County Holstein Association aided the construction of Cattle Barn in 1921. Both are county landmarks with the Household-Education building acting as a designated Plymouth Historical Society landmark. The Sheboygan County Fair continues to hold the distinction of having the most school education entries of any county fair in Wisconsin. Sheboygan County Fair by artist Dave Petri recalls the rich history and evolution of the Sheboygan County Fair. Located at 117 Division Street, the Plymouth Rotary Club, the Plymouth Lions Club, the Plymouth Optimist Club, the Women’s Civic Society of Plymouth, GFWC Plymouth Woman’s Club, and the Sheboygan County Fair Association are sponsors of Sheboygan Country Fair.