It all began in the early 1800's with the first agricultural fairs that gave rural families an opportunity to see first hand the latest agricultural techniques, equipment, crops and livestock. As the Nineteenth Century passed fairs also incorporated a wide range of educational, recreational, competitive and social activities into their programs. Within a couple of generations the county and state fairs became a quintessential part of American tradition.
Before there were county and state fairs most fairs were held by private individuals and organizations, or agricultural societies. In 1807 Elkanah Watson of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, held one of the first agricultural fairs by holding sheep shearing demonstrations in conjunction with traditional market fairs. By the fall of 1811, Watson's sheep shearing had evolved into the Berkshire County Fair, a major production, featuring a procession of three or four thousand animals, a live band, displays of local industries and artisans. Watson also took careful steps to attract women by offering premiums on domestic products and by holding an annual ball.
Madison County Fair continues in this tradition. Our county fair celebrates human progress, science, education and the agrarian ideal. In August our fair includes all of the traditional events including all of the 4-H projects, Ranch Rodeo events and local industry. Through out the year we hold events that uphold this tradition and that provide quality entertainment for the families of our community.