Tuesday, June 19, 2012

1896 Fair Date Dispute

For several years past, the Fowlerville agricultural society has occupied the second week in October as the dates for holding the annual fair.  This year, the Brighton market fair came out with their dates upon the same week.  Secretary Carr communicated with them at once upon the subject, but they still maintain that date.  We are sorry Brighton people should insist on conflicting with the Fowlerville dates, as the best of feeling has always prevailed between the two societies, but we can give them a point that we can stand it if they can and that we shall all do some tall hustling to make the Fowlerville fair a success.

Although the fair wouldn't happen until October, the above article published in the local newspaper in April of that year showed how early planning was happening for this yearly event. 

By mid-September, Secretary Carr is already receiving entries for the coming fair and the premium lists and bills are being distributed throughout the surrounding county.  The prospects for a large meeting and a very successful exhibition have never been better than at present.  But it wasn't just Brighton they were in competition with.  Both Bancroft and Stockbridge had their fairs right about the same time as Fowlerville's event which was held October 6-9 of this year.

One of the main attractions of the fair was the floral hall.  Every year, merchants would display their wares -- everything from hardware to dry goods to food products.  It was as if some of these merchants would move a majority of their stock out to the fairgrounds and do business there for the entire week.

Another attraction were the numerous baseball -- or as written in the paper "base ball" -- games.  Teams as far as Detroit would show up for the competitions.  And, as was a long-standing tradition, there were horse events from racing to selling, that drew huge crowds.

The best way this fair was described came from, as so often, G.L. Adams' thoughts -- Now comes what is to many the most important festival of the year -- the Fowlerville Fair.  To all it is a session of merry-making mixed with business.  The farmer exhibits his products and his live stock, the merchant his wares, the manufacturer his machines, and the house-wife displays specimens of her skill in the dairy, the kitchen and with the needle.  All come to observe and be amused, and each contribute his share to the exhibition.

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