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Did you know the first American State Fair was held in Syracuse New York in 1841? This event kicked off the American Tradition of showcasing a states agricultural achievements and economic prowess.
Nine years later, Ohio would hold it’s first State Fair in 1850 in the Cincinnati community of Camp Washington.
Animals were brought from across the state to Cincinnati, Ohio by train and exhibited during the three-day event. The annual fair traveled the state before settling in its current location in Columbus, Ohio.
State fairs, and their cousins, the county fair, started out as a way to showcase agriculture but as the population has shifted from agrarian to urban the focus has been on showcasing what makes each community unique.
From concerts to robotics demonstrations, the modern fair is about a lot more than cows and plows.
While the animals and produce are still a fair staple and an important tool for teaching the community about the food system, fairs like the Hamilton County 4-H Community Fair teach youth, exhibitors and guests about the strength of self-directed learning.
4-H is a mainstay in the local fair movement. Youth self-select projects are asked to give presentations on what they learned through their project during the annual project judging.
The project topics are almost limitless, with youth raising guinea pigs, preparing spoken word presentations, constructing robots or even baking cupcakes.
To see Hamilton County 4-H in action come out to the 2019 Hamilton County 4-H Community Fair July 10-13 at Stricker’s Grove. Open to the public.