The first Elkhart County Fair was hosted by the Agricultural Society in 1851 on the Goshen Court House square. The 2-day exhibition was established to bring farmers, livestock breeders and county commissioners together for a celebration of agriculture accomplishments and to discuss the advancement of agricultural interests in the county. The event was held annually until financial hardships and the Civil War resulted in the fair being closed for several years. It wasn’t until 1908 that the fair reopened and reestablished itself as the community event of the year. In 1955, a new volunteer fair board was formed and soon after, the articles of incorporation were signed. That same year, the 4-H club fair that had been held at Rice Field in Elkhart, Indiana merged with the county fair in Goshen to become what we know today as the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.
Through the years, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair has evolved into one of the largest fairs in the state of Indiana hosting more than 200,000 guests annually during its 9-day run. Backed with strong community financial support, the fairgrounds have expanded from 48 acres in the early 1900’s to a 380 acre facility with more than 70 structures that are utilized year-round. The fair remains largely produced by a volunteer board of more than 130 and it continues its mission to be a showcase for more than 3,800 4-H youth each year.
The Elkhart County 4-H Fair prides itself on promoting agriculture, youth development, and family friendly entertainment in Elkhart County and the greater Michiana area. With grandstand concerts, world famous food, top notch youth competitions, and a plethora of entertainment, there is something for everyone at the Fair.