Marinette County Fair Starts Thursday, Aug. 23Issue Date: August 23, 2018
The Marinette County Fair Grounds in Wausaukee will spring to life for its big annual 4-day event on Thursday, Aug. 23. Each year the Fair draws about 30,000 visitors to Wausaukee.
Buildings open at 9 a.m. daily and remain open until10 p.m. Carnival rides will start at 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and noon on Saturday and Sunday. They are to run until 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Fair royalty will be crowned at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. This year there are four candidates running for the 2018 Marinette County 4-H Royalty Contest. They are Melany Brieno, Alexandria Broderick, Lindsey Michalski, Sierra O'Mary. Helping with the coronation will be 2017 Queen Alexis Witak.
Other highlights on Thursday include Kenny Ahern at 5:30. 6:30 and 8 p.m., DJ at 7 and 11 p.m.
Live music, food and beverage stands, contests, demonstrations, contests and entertainment for children and adults will be going on through all four days of the Fair.
The Marinette County Fair in Wausaukee started in 1928, at about the time the first County Extension agent, Charles Drewry, was hired. It had been held in conjunction with the Dickinson County Fair in Iron Mountain, Mich for the two years prior to that. Wausaukee was selected as the site of the fair because of its central location in Marinette County.
The existing fairgrounds at one time had been a farm owned by Emile Jicha. Prominent Wausaukee businessman H.G. Laun was the first Fair Association president. He had donated a large property to Marinette County to help make the fair possible. Other early officers were Lew Holmes, vice president; Drewry, secretary; and Knute Anderson, treasurer. Other directors were Alex Cretton of Niagara; H.B. Sanderson, Loomis; C. A. Webster, Wausaukee; George D
Amour, Goodman; and August Meshop, Coleman. Others, including Chris Patterson of Niagara, Julie Ramsay of Harmony, and Fred Forst of Wausaukee were long time workers for the fair.
There were no buildings for livestock in the first years, only a few pens and tents for animals. For the first fair, F.E. Michtell of Wausaukee had to go all the way to Madison for tents. The Wausaukee Recreation Building, where Evergreen Plaza is today, was used to exhibit vegetables, foods, clothing and handicraft. Bowling alleys in the Rec Center were planked over for additional space.
Old records indicate in 1931 the adult exhibit entries were very large, but during more recent years 4-H and youth exhibits have dominated.
There was some doubt if the 1940 Fair should be held due to concern over the polio epidemic. It was recommended that no one under age 16 should attend.
However, in 1940 the main building and a couple of food booths were constructed, as well as a historical building and the 4-H building.
Victor Quick became county agent after Drewry. During his 10-year tenure, Quick was able to get the Fair operating in the black. Harold King replaced him in 1960 and remained Fair Association secretary for many years.
In 1962 the Fair switched from a three day event to four days, which provided more time to get livestock to the Fair and showing them.
Over the years other improvements were made in the Fair grounds and the buildings on it, including the large grandstand, pavilion, modern rest rooms, paved walkways, and a new cattle barn.
Marinette County continues to provide minimal economic support for the Fair, and aids in maintenance of Fair property.
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