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Missing the State Fair?

SFlard copy.jpgThe Indiana State Fair has just ended – kids and adults have gotten their kicks screaming on rides, eating all sorts of fried concoctions, and checking out the many things on display from pigs to jams. If you’re missing the fair already, stop by the fair exhibit on display in the library. Postcards, photos, premium catalogues and even awards will help satisfy any withdrawal symptoms you may be feeling.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone felt nostalgic for the fair. The first Indiana State Fair took place on three warm October days in 1852 in what is now Military State Park in Indianapolis. At the time, farming was the state’s largest industry, but it wasn’t yet a science. The main goal of the fair was to foster learning about agriculture. Farmers from all over the state gathered to share information and premiums were awarded to encourage farmers to grow the best crops and to raise the best livestock.

SFwatermelons.jpgOf course, even from the beginning, there was plenty of entertainment to be had. Several times the fair banned sideshows, gambling and alcohol, but there were always more wholesome amusements to be had. Visitors watched various races and performances, and even listened to the Beatles and John Phillip Sousa perform.

These were taken by J.C. Allen and Sons who spent years looking at the fair from behind the camera lens. You can see more of their photos by searching our digital collection here.

These photos didn’t make it into the exhibit, but to see which ones did, stop on by the library before Sept. 16.