From 1891-1912, the New London Fair was held in New London. Now, 100 years later, the New London Fair atmosphere will be recreated at the New London Fair Centennial Celebration, Saturday, Oct. 6.
The event will be held at the location where the fair was held, which is now farmland just east of the Highway 45 overpass where it crosses Highway 54.
Tours of the Fair Dining Hall will be available. According to the New London Tourism web site, the existing farmhouse was built in 1891 to serve as the dining hall for fair goers. The house was recently restored and is furnished with collectibles from the period.
There will be a “New London Fair” visual presentation made hourly throughout the day, beginning at 11 a.m. The PowerPoint presentation will trace the organization of the New London Fair, including highlights of the attractions with photos. It will also speculate about the fair’s demise.
In 1897, Robert La Follette, one of Wisconsin’s premier politicians, appeared at the New London Fair. Starting at 11 a.m. La Follette’s speech will be impersonated hourly by Tony Fuller.
Two other hourly presentations will be taking place during the celebration. A display and presentation of traditional quilts will be made by local quilters Jan Mullarkey and Julie Herres. Both are members of the Wolf River Quilters, and will do a bed turning of quilts in many styles, including pinwheel, baskets and Dresden plate. These presentations will start at 11:30 a.m.
To commemorate the first airplane coming to New London at the fairgrounds in 1912, Mike Thern, a private pilot and aviation enthusiast from Winona, Minn., will recreate what it felt like for the audience to witness a “birdman” lift off, become airborne, and land again. These presentations start at 11:30 a.m.
At 11:50 a.m., descendants of the James Henry Cannon family will be honored. Cannon owned the grounds at the time when the fair was held there.
Attendees can also view antique farm machinery that will be on display, and enjoy the challenge of a corn maze. A food wagon will also be onsite selling burgers, hot dogs and soda.