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Wooster Digital History Project

Fair Days: Attraction and Exchange

By Scott McLellan

The fair, as Woostonians and other fair-goers know it, seems pretty straightforward: pay a few dollars to spend a day watching agricultural exhibitions, shopping at small local vendor stands, eating the greasiest (but tastiest!) food of the year, and sharing a fun-filled day with friends and family. How, though, could something so fun also be so critical to Wooster as an agricultural community? The fair has changed to fit the evolving desires of fair-goers and the needs of the farming community. However, its spirit is old, stretching as far back and out 16th century Britain. By looking at the history of fairs, one can see how the Wayne County Fair as we know it has been a tool both for the preservation of tradition as well as a key event supporting technological and agricultural advancement.