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History Press

Topsfield Fair - America's Oldest

Topsfield Fair - America's Oldest

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The Topsfield Fair is the oldest agricultural fair in America. In 1818, men of Essex County formed the Essex Agricultural Society in Topsfield, Massachusetts, with Col. Timothy Pickering of Salem, a Revolutionary War hero, agriculturist, and elder statesman as president. The mission was to promote and share new and progressive methods of agriculture and to show cattle at an annual outing. For nearly a century, the fair was moved to various towns within the county until 1910, when it settled into its permanent home in Topsfield.

For nearly two hundred years, the Topsfield Fair has attracted millions of people to witness a spectacular fall event rooted in agriculture but also filled with thrills and family entertainment. Many forms of horse, dog, motorcycle, and automobile racing over the years have garnered gate receipts to pay for premiums and permanent display buildings for the agricultural exhibitions. Exhibits range from home and farm products to horses, poultry, oxen, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, rabbits, bees, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees. Vaudeville, water follies, pageants, rodeos, thrilling acts and rides, singing stars, horse hitches, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the commercial and food establishments have always added to the atmosphere of the fair.


Galvinzed, wrapped steel.


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