Kansas State Fair

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Coordinates: 38°04′40″N 97°55′38″W / 38.07778°N 97.92722°W / 38.07778; -97.92722

Kansas State Fair
Kansas State Fair Logo.png
2013 logo
Kansas State Fair - Hutchinson Kansas 9-14-2014.JPG
2014 aerial view
GenreState fair
Dates10 days (starts Friday following Labor Day in September)[1]
Location(s)Hutchinson, Kansas, USA[1]
Years active1913 to present[2]
AttendanceApproximately 350,000[1]

Kansas State Fair is a State Fair that is held annually in Hutchinson, Kansas, United States. It starts the Friday following Labor Day in September, and lasts for 10 days. This fair is the largest single event in the State, and annually attracts approximately 335,000 people from all 105 Kansas counties and several other states.[1][3][4] The fairgrounds is centered at 23rd Ave, between Main St and Plum St, in Hutchinson, and consists of 280 acres with over 70 buildings, and 25 full-time year-round staff.[5] In 2019, it will be held from September 6 to 15.


State Fair some year between 1900 and 1919
State Fair, 1906

Early state fairs[edit]

In the 19th century, the Kansas State Fair was held in various cities in Kansas, such as Topeka, Wichita, and others.[6][7]

Early Reno County fairs[edit]

The first fair association was made on January 18, 1873, when the Reno County Agricultural Society was created.[2][8] On September 23–24, 1873, the society hosted a fair which was held in a small wooden livery stable behind the bank on the northwest corner of Sherman and Main in Hutchinson.[2]

Encouraged by the success of this first event, plans began for a bigger fair in 1874, with the society proposing a tax levy to support the event, but voters rejected the idea. Though turned down, the Agricultural Society pushed ahead and found acreage southeast of where the state reformatory would later be located, paid cash for the grounds, and on September 28–30 of 1875, presented the First Annual Reno County Fair. It featured 20 classes for entries, with most awards in the form of certificates, and a few $5 cash prizes.[2] Agricultural exhibitions were also held during the years 1876 and[citation needed] 1877.[9]:207

The Reno County Agricultural and Joint Stock Association was incorporated on September 2, 1878.[8] In 1878, new grounds were purchased just north of Eastside Cemetery, and fairs were held there through the early 1880s.[2]

Reorganized and renamed the Arkansas Valley Fair Association, the fair was moved back to its previous grounds for the 1885 event.[2] These grounds southeast of the present Hutchinson Correctional Facility grew in the late 1880s and 1890s. New buildings were added nearly every year. A fence surrounded the property and the half-mile racetrack.[2]

Official State Fair[edit]

The present state fair had its beginning on February 7, 1901, when a few men met to talk about organizing a fair association. The board of directors met on April 24, 1901 to elect officers.[9]:207-208 The name Central Kansas Fair Association was created.[2][9]:208 The fair was held in 1901 on 50 acres of land, which stretched along the east side of Main Street to Poplar, from 11th Avenue north to 17th Avenue in Hutchinson.[2] The land was leased in trade for 10 percent of the gate receipts and half the concession privileges in 1901.[9]:208

In 1903, the Central Kansas Fair was recognized by an act of the state legislature to give the fair association the license to legitimately call their event "The Kansas State Fair".[2]

In 1912, 112 acres (45 ha) of land north of 17th Avenue and east of Main Street were purchased for expansion. It was decided for bonds to pay for this new land was put to a vote by Reno County voters in April 1913, and won by a margin of 4 to 1.[2] A bill was passed in the Kansas legislature to grant Hutchinson fair monetary support in exchange for the city giving the state the fairgrounds.[2] The first "official" Kansas State Fair was held September 13–20, 1913.[2]

The Old Mill was completed for the opening of the 1915 fair. One thousand feet of water-filled channels featured boats which promised to transport passengers through "gloomy caves of gleesome gladness".[2] In 1916, the House of Capper, a covered Veranda, was built. It was formerly a shaded place to rest, the Professional Arts Building, and a bandstand at one time.[10]

The Cottonwood Court was built in 1928 and renovated in 2003. The building was originally used as an automobile building, which later became the Commercial Building, the finally the Cottonwood Court.[11] The Grandstand was built in 1930.[12] The Domestic Arts Building was built in 1930 and renovated in 2003.[13] In 1931, a sandpit was landscaped and rename as Lake Talbott.[2][14] The Encampment Building was built in 1934. It was home to POWs and State Fair Soldiers during WWII.[15]

Admission prices[edit]

In 2015, the admission price was:[16]

  • Children under age 6 free
  • Advance tickets before the first day of the fair were $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for child (age 6 to 12).
  • $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $4 for child (age 6 to 12)
  • On Monday, $1 per person, or free with Dillon's Shopper Plus Card
  • On Tuesday, after 4 p.m. was $4 per person.
  • On Thursday, after 4 p.m. was $4 per person.

Grandstand entertainment[edit]

The state fair grandstand hosts events every evening, with music concerts, demolition derby, auto races, and truck / tractor pulls.[17]

In 2017, the grandstand hosted: Old Dominion with Josh Turner, RaeLynn, Los Lonely Boys, Smash Mouth, Chevelle, Loverboy with Survivor, The Charlie Daniels Band, and TobyMac.[18].

In 2016, the grandstand hosted: Andy Grammer with Rachel Platten, Gabriel Iglesias, Justin Moore with Clare Dunn, Restless Heart plus Suzy Bogguss and Billy Dean, Crowder, Hairball, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jake Owen with Old Dominion.[19].

In 2015, the grandstand hosted: Three Days Grace, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, The Oak Ridge Boys, Sam Hunt with Old Dominion, Newsboys with "for King & Country", Hairball, Gabriel Iglesias, Little Big Town.[20]

In 2014, the grandstand hosted: Cheap Trick, 3 Doors Down, Hunter Hayes, Sawyer Brown with Aaron Tippin, the Country Gold Tour (Leroy Van Dyke, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers, T.G. Sheppard, Eddy Raven and Larry Stewart, the voice of Restless Heart), Matthew West with Cloverton, Aaron Watson and Jack Ingram, Chris Young with Courtney Cole.[21]

In 2013, the grandstand hosted: Toby Keith, Theory of a Deadman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kansas, Jars of Clay, Bridgit Mendler, Eli Young Band with Mockingbird Sun, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers with Billy Dean.[22][23]

In 2012, the grandstand hosted: Boston, Heart, 38 Special, Victoria Justice with Max Schneider, The Oak Ridge Boys with Jimmy Fortune, Chris Cagle, Casting Crowns, Billy Currington with Jake Owen.[24]

In 2011, the grandstand hosted: Kenny Rogers, REO Speedwagon with Little River Band, Third Day, Daughtry, Big Time Rush, Darius Rucker, Jerrod Niemann.[25]

In 2010, the grandstand hosted: Foreigner, Loverboy, The Oak Ridge Boys, Rodney Atkins with Chris Young, Terry Fator, Blake Shelton with James Otto, MercyMe, Selena Gomez.[26]

In 2009, the grandstand hosted: Tesla, Heart, Huey Lewis and the News, Montgomery Gentry, Gaither Vocal Band, Hinder with Saving Abel, Nat and Alex Wolff.[27]

In 2008, the grandstand hosted: Styx with Kansas, Poison, Puddle of Mudd, Alice Cooper, Jeremy Camp, Gary Allan with Blake Shelton, Joe Nichols with Jason Michael Carroll, Corbin Bleu with Justin Stein.[28]

In 2007, the grandstand hosted: Three Days Grace with Seether, Chicago, Loverboy and Night Ranger, Gretchen Wilson, Sawyer Brown with Bucky Covington, Sara Evans with Josh Turner, Aly & AJ.[29]

In 1999, the grandstand hosted: Britney Spears, Chris LeDoux and Kansas, Mark Wills with Montgomery-Gentry, The Wilkinson's, Kenny Chesney, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Doobie Brothers and Styx, Jennifer Paige with Mulberry Lane, Leann Rimes with The Clark Family Experience.[30]


The state fair has over 1,000 commercial exhibit locations; for competition, with over 30,000 entries in various competitive exhibit departments; for education, through its Kansas' Largest Classroom field trip program; and for entertainment with strolling and stage entertainment in addition to the national acts performing at the grandstand.[1]

Yearly use[edit]

In addition to the annual state fair, the fairgrounds facilities are utilized throughout the year for a wide array of events, including horse and livestock shows, RV rallies, trade shows, flea markets, wedding receptions, family reunions, and company picnics, to name just a few.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "About the Fair". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "History of the Fair". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Retrieved 2017-12-22. Also Archived 2013-09-19 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Kansas State Fair sees best attendance in 16 years". The Hutchinson News (online ed.). Hutchinson, Kansas. October 6, 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  4. ^ Total attendance from 1978 to 2014 (37 years) was 12,285,469, with an average of 332040 and median of 337489.[citation needed]
  5. ^ "Building Info". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2012-08-24.
  6. ^ Kansas State Fair Association (1887), Fifth annual Kansas state fair, Topeka, Kansas (poster), Topeka, Kansas, retrieved 2017-12-22 – via Kansas Historical Society
  7. ^ Donaldson Litho. Co. (1895), Kansas state fair, Wichita, Kansas (poster), retrieved 2017-12-22 – via Kansas Historical Society
  8. ^ a b Cutler, William G. (1883). "Reno County, Part 2". History of the State of Kansas. Chicago: A.T. Andreas – via The Kansas Collection.
  9. ^ a b c d Ploughe, Sheridan (1917). "Chapter XXVIII: Reno County Fairs". History of Reno County, Kansas: Its People, Industries, and Institutions. 1. Indianapolis, Indiana: Bowen and Company – via The Internet Archive.
  10. ^ "House of Capper". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12.
  11. ^ "Cottonwood Court". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12.
  12. ^ "U.S.Cellular Grandstand". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12.
  13. ^ "Domestic Arts Building". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12.
  14. ^ "Lake Talbott info". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12.
  15. ^ "Encampment Building info". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12.
  16. ^ "Admission Prices". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2015-09-11.
  17. ^ "History of Grandstand Performances". Hutchinson, Kansas: Kansas State Fair. Archived from the original on 2013-03-06.
  18. ^ "2017 Entertainment". |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  19. ^ "2016 Entertainment". Archived from the original on 2016-09-27.
  20. ^ "2015 Entertainment". Archived from the original on 2015-09-06.
  21. ^ 2014 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 2014-09-06)
  22. ^ 2013 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 2013-04-20)
  23. ^ Neil, Denise (February 28, 2013). "Kansas State Fair announces first round of 2013 acts". The Wichita Eagle (online ed.). Wichita, Kansas. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  24. ^ 2012 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 2012-09-22)
  25. ^ 2011 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 2011-09-28)
  26. ^ 2010 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 2010-09-15)
  27. ^ 2009 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 2009-06-15)
  28. ^ 2008 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 2008-09-17)
  29. ^ 2007 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 2007-10-30)
  30. ^ 1999 Entertainment at the Wayback Machine (archived 1999-10-05)

External links[edit]