SPENCER, Iowa-The Clay County Fair this year is celebrating 100 years, since the founding of what is now Iowa’s largest County Fair.
In 1917, in the midst of World War I there were 180 people who chipped in $100 each to start this fair. Attendance grew quickly with 30,000 people the first year, and 100,000 people in the 1920’s.
“This is really kind of the Upper-Midwest September get together,” said Jeremy Parsons, Clay County Fair Manager. “We draw heavy out of Minnesota, about 25% of our attendees are from Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The event draws people from 42 Iowa counties.
The Clay County Fair is the second largest tourism event in Iowa, drawing around 320,000 people per year, second in attendance only to the Iowa State Fair.
“We have to say you can come here and get your last corn dog,get your final fair fix,” said Parsons
What is more amazing, is that the Clay County Fair is held is Spencer, population 12,000.
“When you are inviting the world to your county fair, a lot of people have to drive to Spencer within a 100 mile radius to make this thing work,” said Parsons.
The Clay County Fair has the largest display of agricultural machinery in the entire country.
On Sunday night the Fair will celebrate a century of fairs with a big grandstand celebration. This will include old-time acts with a high wire act, a human cannon ball, and jugglers. There will also be a giant fireworks display.
If you would like to check out the last weekend of the Clay County Fair, check their website