Marion County Fairgrounds
Shrine Circus June 6 - 7!
2012 NTPA Tractor Pull.....Great Crowd
Updated May 4, 2013
28 - August 3, 2013
David Sullens, President - Doug
Telford, Vice President - Russell Vandeveer, Secretary
Charles Fulton, Treasurer - Terry
Mulvany, Asst. Secretary
Fair Board Meeting First Monday Of
Marion County Fair Queen Pageant Entries Now Being Accepted
Entries are now being accepted for the 2013 Little Miss Marion
County Fair Queen Pageant. The annual event will be held on Tuesday
night, July 30th, at 7:30.
The first 25 entries will be accepted. All Little Miss Contestants
will be crowned. To be eligible, your daughter must be five before
July 1st, 2013 and cannot tur...n
seven by July 31st, 2013. Parents and or guardians must be residents
of Marion County.
To enter your child, please send a postcard or note card including
the following information: Child's name, Age, Date of Birth,
Parents' Names, Address, and Phone Number to Donna Sullens, 1059
Ferrydale Road, Odin, IL 62870. All entries must be postmarked. No
phone entries will be accepted.
If your child's entry is accepted, you will receive a letter within
HERE FOR 2013 FAIR QUEEN PAGEANT OFFICIAL ENTRY BLANK AND OFFICIAL RULES
Burroughs of Iuka, Miss Marion County Fair Queen 2012
Marion County's 2012 Fair Queen Ashton Burroughs has her crown put
into place by outgoing Queen Chelsie Bartley
Photo by Bruce Kropp.
2013 Demo Derby Entry
Form, Rules and Regulations on Program or Ticket Links.
for your interest in the Marion County Agriculture Fair.
on the top of each page and information on down this home page will direct you to
specific areas about the fair and fairgrounds.
Should you have any
questions or are unable to find information you are looking for, please
feel free to contact us at the fair office.
mailing address is P.O. Box 21, Salem, Illinois,
On The Grounds During Major Events!
2013 4-H County Fair Events!
July 27 - Swine - 8:00 A.M.
Sheep - 8:30 A.M.
Goats - 11:00 A.M.
Beef - 1:00 P.M
July 28 - Super Showmanship - 2:00
Tractor Driving - 3:00 P.M.
Farm Olympics - 3:00 P.M.
July 29 - Kids Day At The Fair - 9:00
Poultry & Rabbits - 6:00 P.M.
July 31 -
Livestock Auction - 6:00 P.M.
August 1 - Crops & Horticulture - 6:00
GROUND ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE 2013
Sunday July 28 - Area Church Praise
Bands 7:00 P.M.
Monday July 29 - "BLEND" 7:00 P.M.
Tuesday July 30 - Liberty Road Bank
Wednesday July 31 - Fred's Pickin'
Parlor 7:00 P.M.
Thursday August 1 - Drew Baldridge
Friday August 2 - Jamie Nattier 7:00
Saturday August 3 - Southern Illinois
Elite Tumble & Cheer 6:30 P.M.
2013 Marion County Fair
Friday August 2, 6:30
Little Egypt Shows
Carnival on the 2013 Midway
GREAT FREE ENTERTAINMENT AT
THE 2013 FAIR! Every Night!
The PKC Superstakes and World Coon Hunt Returns to Salem and the
Marion County Fairgrounds for 2013!
Superstakes will be held September 23 - 28, youth hunt October
25 - 26 and the World Championship Hunt October 28 - November 2.
PKC World Championship Coon Hunt Headquarters
Opps, not a coon dog, just visiting....
you at the 2013 World Hunt!
Before the 1850's, there
were no railroads or good roads in the area. Therefore, agriculture
was not a means of making a living since there were no way to get produce
to market. People raised grain for their own animals and had home
gardens for their own use. When better roads and railroads came to
Marion County, farming became a viable means of making a living. The
Ohio & Mississippi Railroad came in 1857, and the Illinois Central
Railroad came soon after.
On March 24, 1853, the
Marion County Agricultural Society was founded and the first fair was held
October 25 & 26, 1855. The fairgrounds was near Bryan Park here
in Salem. A big tent was used that had been used earlier at the
Illinois State Fair held in Chicago that year. In 1858, the State
Fair was held in Centralia and Central City. The Siamese twins were
a big attraction at that fair. The fair also featured hot air
balloon rides. The balloon got loose with two small children in the
basket. It came down near Mt. Vernon, and the children were fine.
In 1857, the Marion
County Agricultural Society purchased 12 acres for a fairgrounds (Tully
Park). The fair was held on those grounds until 1880 under the name
of the Marion County Agricultural Society. Accounts of the
fairgrounds say that it compared well with any other fairgrounds in
southern Illinois. The amphitheatre could accommodate a thousand
persons. There was an excellent half-mile dirt track. The fair
was held each year until 1862 when it was cancelled because that troops of
the 111th Illinois Volunteers were training on the fairgrounds. It
was cancelled in 1887 due to drought and cinch bugs destroying
crops. In 1896, it was cancelled because William Jennings Bryan was
running for president.
In 1909, the Fair
Association gave the fairgrounds (Tully Park) to the City of Salem to be
used as a park. After 1909 the fair was held in different places and
known by different names-County Fair, Farmers Institute, and Farmers &
Teachers Institute. It was held in Centralia in 1915 and from 1918
to 1925 it was held in Alma at Allmon's Grove. In 1926 is was in
Patoka. It returned to Tully Park in the mid-1930's.
In 1939, the fair was
held in downtown Salem, just west of the Court House. The garden
produce and handmade articles were exhibited in the armory, which is now
the Salem Moose Club.
In 1940, the fair was
held in Bryan Park with the garden produce and handmade articles exhibited
in the new (at the time) armory on North College Street.
Businessman Bob Hancock
and an interested group of people met and petitioned the Marion County
Board for the establishment of a fairgrounds. They sent 250 letters
out to farmers, businessmen, 4-H leaders and FFA leaders to back the
effort. On March 13, 1940, the Marion County Board of Supervisors
voted to purchase the old Salem Airport and 20 adjoining acres for a
permanent home for the Marion County Fair, giving the fair approximately
On April 14, 1941, these
same farmers and businessmen met at the Marion County Court House and
organized the Marion County Agricultural Fair Association. The first
officers were : President-E.E. Irwin, Vice President-J.V. Davis,
Secretary-C. Glen Jones, Treasurer-O.A. James. E.E. "Gene"
Irwin was president of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs from
1934 until 1941. There is one living member of the First Fair Board,
The Fair Board leased
the grounds from the County for a few years and then bought the
fairgrounds in 1949. The first fair on the present fairgrounds was
August 19-23, 1941. The estimated attendance was 20,000 and offered
$7,000 in premiums. By comparison, the attendance at the 2010 fair
was 25,000 and premiums offered were $104,397.
Harness Racing was very
big in the 1940's and 1950's and the Marion County Fair had one of the
best 1/2 mile tracks in the state. Several trainers, drivers, owners
and horses that appeared here or raced here are in the Harness Racing Hall
of Fame. The late Russell Rose, Salem's own, was inducted in
2005. Some of the horses that raced at the Marion County Fair went
on to race in big races, including the Hamiltonian.
The fair has had it's
ups and downs. At one point in the 1960's, the fair board almost
sold the fairgrounds to pay off the debt and dissolve the Fair
Association. However, 2 or 3 men came forward and saved the
fair. Two of those were Ray Vandeveer and Paul Hester. Ray
Vandeveer's sons are members of the fair today. Ray Vandeveer, Jr.
is the Beef Superintendent, Russell is the present Fair Secretary and also
a Director-at-Large of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs and
Rolland Vandeveer is Supt. of Junior Livestock. Paul Hester's son,
Dale, has served on the board for 44 years.
In 1980, the Marion
County Fair Queen Pageant was started. There have been 31 queens
crowned with the 1987 Queen, Lori Vaughn, being Miss Illinois County Fair
Queen. Several of our queens have placed in the top 13 at put
the the State Convention in Springfield.
On April 19, 1996, the
fairgrounds was hit by a tornado that destroyed much of the fairgrounds
including the horse barns, exhibit building, grandstand roof, fair office
and the electrical system. The fair board went to work and was able
to put the fairgrounds back together and opened the fair on time just a
little over three months later.
In the past years we
have had some of the greatest acts in country music on our stage in front
of the grandstand....some of the following have performed....Porter
Waggoner, Dolly Parton, Bill Anderson, Loretta Lynn, Marty Robbins, the
Statler Brothers, Oak Ridge Boys, Leroy Van Dyke, Mickey Gilley, Eddie
Rabbit, Doug Supernaw, Tracy Byrd, Michael Peterson, Mike Snider, Little
Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl, Roy Acuff and Merle Travis. Also, the
Royal Lipizzan Stallions have performed at the fairgrounds.
The Fair Board Members
over the years have been successful in producing a good entertaining fair
for the people of Marion County to enjoy. The present fair board is
made up of 38 men and women dedicated to having a good fair each
year. The present officers are David Sullens-President, Doug
Telford-Vice President, Russell Vandeveer-Secretary, Charles
Fulton-Treasurer and Terry Mulvany-Assistant Secretary.
We think we have one of
the nicest county fairgrounds in Illinois. In addition to the annual
fair, we host the Farm Safety Day in April, Raccoon Ramblers Camping Club,
the Shrine Circus in June, the Illinois Hereford Preview in June, the
Antique Power Days in September, the Airstream Camper Rally in October and
the PKC World Coon Hunt in October (Pending).
County Fairs are for
education and promotion of agriculture, but many county fairs are no
longer rural oriented. In past years, most of the people attending
the fair had some connection with the farm-grandparents, uncles, aunts,
cousins. Today, a high percentage of fair attendees have no
connection with farming or agriculture. We are competing with TV,
Computers, internet, movies, unlimited travel opportunities, sports, fast
food and many activities that did not exist in the past.
The Marion County Fair
has survived tornadoes, windstorms, rain-out nights, drought, extreme
heat, floods, the depression and wars. We hope that the fair will
continue, we ask you to support and attend the Marion County Agriculture
Fair in the coming years and attend and support other events being held at
Web Site www.antiquepowerdays.com