Missouri State Fairgrounds Historic District
2011 Missouri State Fair - Ferris Wheel at Sunset
|Location||Roughly bounded by US 65, Co. Rd. Y, Clarendon Rd. and the Missouri--Kansas--Texas RR tracks, Sedalia, Missouri|
|Area||215 acres (87 ha)|
|Built by||Bast, Thomas W.; Et al.|
|Architectural style||Art Deco, Mission/spanish Revival, Romanesque|
|NRHP reference #||91000853|
|Added to NRHP||June 28, 1991|
The Missouri State Fair is the state fair for the state of Missouri, which has operated since 1901 in Sedalia, Missouri. It includes daily concerts, exhibits and competitions of animals, homemade crafts, shows, and many food/lemonade stands, and it only lasts 11 days. Its most famous event is the mule show, which has run since its inception. The fairgrounds are located at 2503 W 16th Street on the southwest side of the city at the intersection of West 16th Street (State Highway Y) and South Limit Avenue (U.S. Highway 65).
In 2015, the Missouri State Fair had an attendance of about 350,000 people. It has won numerous first-place and other awards at the annual conference of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), especially for its promotion of agricultural exhibitors.
In 1897, N. H. Gentry of Sedalia persuaded the Missouri Swine Breeders Association to request the Missouri General Assembly to establish a state fair. In 1899 a resolution for the fair was introduced by C.E. Clark.
After ten ballots, Sedalia received the majority vote; it had bid 150 acres (0.61 km2), the most amount of land of any city to be devoted to the fairgrounds. The Van Riper family, who had set land aside for the location of the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri, also donated the site in Sedalia.
The first Missouri State Fair was held September 9-13 in 1901. One of the most distinctive aspects of the early fairs was the "white city": the 24 acres (97,000 m2) of tents, each for rent by exhibitors.
The Missouri State Fairgrounds are now used year-round and generate revenue in every season, for more than 350 days out of the available 365. The fairgrounds hosted the Ozark Music Festival July 19-21, 1974, with an estimated crowd of 350,000 people. Off-season usage includes music concerts, camper rallies, livestock shows, organized athletic leagues and tournaments, auto races, craft shows, and youth rallies.
The Missouri State Fairgrounds Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. It encompasses 47 contributing buildings, 5 contributing sites, 7 contributing structures, and 7 contributing objects. The district developed between 1901 and 1941, and includes representative examples of Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Romanesque Revival architecture. They include several red brick exposition halls and animal barns, concrete drinking fountains constructed by Works Progress Administration, and concession buildings.
In 2009, the Missouri State Fair celebrated its 107th year. Attendance increased nearly 8 percent, for a total of 337,851 during the fair's run. The mild summer encouraged high attendance, and families also liked the fair's affordability as a joint event they could enjoy.
At the end of the year, fair organizers were honored with first-place and other awards at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE). Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe was pleased with the fair's recognition. First place awards included one for "Overall Program for Competitive Agricultural Exhibitors", an overview of the Fair's entire agricultural program including number of entries, promotional materials and the overall quality of the program.
"This category is among one of the highest honors a fair can receive," said Wolfe. "I am extremely proud to have placed 1st for our continued dedication to showcase agriculture, which is the premise of the Missouri State Fair."
The 2010 Missouri State Fair was held August 12-22.
The 2011 Missouri State Fair was held August 11-21. Themed "It's a Show-Me Thing!"