Ozaukee County Fair started in 1859, on leased land in Cedarburg, with the purpose of promoting the interests of the farm and home. The Ozaukee County Agricultural Society organized and operated the first fair, and continues to do so today. In 1929, Ozaukee County welcomed the first 4-H Clubs in the county, and these clubs quickly became involved in the fair. The amount of projects made by the clubs increased dramatically through the years, and soon a larger venue was needed to display their work. A building was constructed on the south end of the modern day grounds to accommodate them. However, the livestock still did not have a barn for the duration of the fair, so they were kept in tents.
In 1933, The Great Depression kept the fair from being held. The Agricultural Society decided it would be a burden for families to pay the entry fee. The fair was revived the following year with great enthusiasm. That fair was the 75th annual fair and was referred to as the “Diamond Jubilee Celebration”. The fair board reduced admission from 50 cents to 25 cents, and in 1942, the Agricultural Society made the fair a free gate entry event in lieu of the events of WWII. Their rationale? The President stated that “baseball and other sports and amusements are essential to the welfare of our communities and the morale of our people.”
From its humble beginnings to what we have today, so much has shaped our county fair for the good. To find out more about the fair’s history, such as why the fair was once moved to Saukville and then moved back to Cedarburg? How we are able to still remain a free gate admission? Hear Natalie Salkowski, former Ozaukee County Fairest of the Fair, WI Fairest of the Fairs and current fair board member talk about the history of the fair and where we’re going in the future at our upcoming Quarterly Meeting. Other fair board members will also be present to share stories and answer questions.