The New London Fair flourished from 1891-1912 with the last fair being held from Oct. 1-4, 1912.
A century later, the public will be able to experience a bit of this local history firsthand during a Centennial Celebration of the New London Fair on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Centennial Celebration will be held on the former fairgrounds site, which is now farmland located along Hwy. 54 just east of the U.S. Hwy. 45 bypass. The public is invited to stroll the old fairgrounds, tour the fair dining hall, and enjoy a variety of activities throughout the day that depict what life was like in the early 1900s and what visitors would have seen during the New London Fair. In its heyday, thousands of visitors walked, came by horse and buggy, or rode the train to come to the fair.
New London Fair Centennial Celebration activities will include hourly talks by Mike Thern, a private pilot and aviation enthusiast, who will talk about those first planes and early aviation; a speech by Wisconsin’s foremost politician of the era, Robert La Follette (impersonated by Tony Fuller), who appeared at the 1897 fair; and a display and presentation of traditional quilts by Wolf River Quilters members, Jan Mullarkey and Julie Herres. Numerous vintage farm machines from the turn of the last century will be on display. These will include the sulky plow, various harrows, seeders, rakes, hay loader, and corn binder. Honorary guests at the centennial event will be descendants of the James Henry Cannon family. Cannon privately owned the land on which the fairs were held and was instrumental in organizing the fair. He served as the first secretary of the association that governed the fairs.
The New London Fair Centennial Celebration is open to the public and admission is free. The United Methodist Men’s Food Wagon will have burgers, hotdogs, and soda available for sale on grounds.
More information about the Centennial Celebration is available at www.newlondontourism.com/events/nlfair/ or contact the New London Area Chamber of Commerce at 920-982-5822.