FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It’s the eve of the Allen County Fair, and this year, organizers are celebrating a milestone: 25 years at the fairgrounds.
Some people may think 25 years seems like a relatively short time especially for Indiana’s third largest county by population, but there has been some type of fair at least since the 1940s. Fairground leaders said it was first at the old Fort Wayne Speedway. Then, it bounced between Huntertown and Woodburn until the fair found a home at the Coliseum. However, when the Coliseum expanded, the current location off Carroll Road became a permanent home in 1989.
“Celebrate and commemorate the 25th anniversary of things that happened in the beginning and some of the events we had,” Fair Special Events Director, Jerry Hammon said.
Hammon said paraphernalia will be sold with the 25th Anniversary logo. Fair leaders will also be bringing back hot air balloon rides and some of the most popular races such as the donkey races. On Tuesday night, there will be a fireworks show to kick off the fair. In addition, a company that handles the Indiana State Fair was hired for the Midway. This year there will be twice as many rides.
“It’s something that we try to build a little bigger and a little better each year,” Hammon said.
There will also be all of the fair favorites such as the monster truck rides, the food tent, the 4-H demonstrations, and all the other family-friendly events. There are only two paid staff members for the Allen County Fair. The rest of the staff are all volunteers. In fact, organizers said Allen County is the only county that doesn’t receive state funding for the fair, so funds from this one week supports the entire year at the fairgrounds.
NewsChannel 15 will have live coverage of the fair all week long. It runs from July 22-27.