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A state fair is an annual competitive and recreational gathering of a
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state ...
's population, usually held in late summer or early fall. It is a larger version of a
county fair An agricultural show is a public event exhibiting the equipment, animals, sports and recreation associated with agriculture and animal husbandry. The largest comprise a livestock show (a judged event or display in which selective breeding, breedi ...

county fair
, often including only exhibits or competitors that have won in their categories at the more-local county fairs. State fairs began in the nineteenth century for the purpose of promoting state
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
, through competitive exhibitions of
livestock Livestock are the domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictabl ...
and display of
farm A farm (also called an agricultural Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases i ...

farm
products. As the U.S. evolved from a predominantly
agrarian Agrarian means pertaining to agriculture, farmland, or rural areas. Agrarian may refer to: Political philosophy *Agrarianism *Agrarian law, Roman laws regulating the division of the public lands *Agrarian reform *Agrarian socialism Society * ...
to an
industrial society In sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The te ...
in the twentieth century, and the more
service economy Service economy can refer to one or both of two recent economic developments: * The increased importance of the service sector The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic secto ...
of the 21st century, modern state fairs have expanded to include
carnival Carnival is a Western Christian 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church building in the world today. Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abra ...
amusement rides and games, display of industrial products, automobile racing, and entertainment such as musical concerts. Large fairs can admit more than a million visitors over the course of a week or two. The first U.S. state fair was that of
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...

New York
, held in 1841 in
Syracuse Syracuse may refer to: Places Italy *Syracuse, Sicily Syracuse ( ; it, Siracusa , or scn, Seragusa, label=none ; lat, Syrācūsae ; grc-att, wikt:Συράκουσαι, Συράκουσαι, Syrákousai ; grc-dor, wikt:Συράκοσ ...
, and has been held annually to the present year. The second state fair was in
Detroit, Michigan (strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Mo ...

Detroit, Michigan
, which ran from 1849 to 2009.Granholm cuts State Fair from budget
It's official: State Fair a goner
Events similar to state fairs are also held annually in each state capital in
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
, known as royal shows. Australian royal shows are organized by state agricultural and horticultural societies, and are described further in the
agricultural show An agricultural show is a public event exhibiting the equipment, animals, sports and recreation associated with agriculture and animal husbandry. The largest comprise a livestock show (a judged event or display in which selective breeding, breedi ...
article.


List of state fairs


United States

;Notes


State fair police departments

Several state fairs maintain their own police departments, including: *
California Exposition and State Fair Police The California Exposition and State Fair Police is the police department of the California Exposition and State Fair, responsible for policing the California Exposition, including most notably the California State Fair. The sworn personnel of the ...
* Iowa State Fair Police * Minnesota State Fair Police Department * Wisconsin State Fair Park Police Department


Provincial exhibitions in Canada

A few annual exhibitions in the summer in Canada are similar to state fairs in the United States:


Awards

State and county fairs are famous for a variety of competitions that award ''ribbons''. Awards are generally given according to the following scale: * First place – blue ribbon * Second place – red ribbon * Third place – white ribbon * Fourth place – yellow ribbon * Fifth place – green ribbon * Sixth place – orange ribbon *Seventh place – purple ribbon *Eighth place – brown ribbon


Attendance

As of 2019, the largest attendance at a state fair in the USA is in Texas with the fair having attracted 2,514,637 visitors. The largest average per day attendance is at the Minnesota State Fair averaging just under 200,000 people per day.


See also

*
Agricultural show An agricultural show is a public event exhibiting the equipment, animals, sports and recreation associated with agriculture and animal husbandry. The largest comprise a livestock show (a judged event or display in which selective breeding, breedi ...
*
Rodeo Rodeo () is a competitive equestrian sport The word equestrian is a reference to Equestrianism, horseback riding, derived from Latin ' and ', "horse". Horseback riding (or Riding in British English) Notable examples of this are: *List of eques ...
*
Trade fair A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) i ...

Trade fair
*
World's fair A world's fair is a large international exhibition designed to showcase achievements of nations. These exhibitions vary in character and are held in different parts of the world at a specific site for a period of time, ranging usually from ...


References

{{Parties American culture Canadian culture Annual fairs Annual events in the United States