History

What was originally called the Clearfield County Fair and Industrial Exhibition began with the organization of the Clearfield County Agricultural Society in 1852. In 1854, the society was chartered. After Clearfield and neighboring Curwensville held a contest to determine who would host the Fair, plans materialized in October of 1860. Clearfield won the contest by raising more subscription money. Clearfield has been the site ever since, except in 1895 and 1896, when Grampian was used so that a track would be available for harness racing. In 1870, the Clearfield Driving Park became the permanent fair grounds. In the early 1900's the Fair was held irregularly however, 1925 had erected two permanent buildings, the grandstand and the exposition hall.

The 1930's brought some problems and some lasting changes. The 1934 four-day Fair endured the crash of the stock market, but the 1935 Fair was suspended, due to economic conditions. Then, in 1937, the James E. Strates Shows made their first of thirty some appearances on the midway. It started a tradition for many years to watch them load their show back on the train in downtown Clearfield after the Fair was over. ln l938,at the request of the Agricultural Society, the Clearfield Volunteer Fire Department took over management of the Fair. In 1938, the Fair lasted a full week and the first fireman's parade passed in front of the grandstand. The Fair was held the fifth full week before Labor Day and has been held the same week ever since.

The Clearfield Volunteer Department is made up from four fire companies, one from each ward of Clearfield Borough. They are Company Number One, Second Ward, Third Ward Hose Company, Elk hose Company. Each fire company elects three persons from their membership to form the Clearfield Volunteer Fire Department Fair and Park Board.

In 1944 and 1945, there were no fairs because of World War Two. 170 members from the four borough fire companies marched off to war, five of them were killed. The following year the fair resumed.

The Fair Board, established in 1942, had their first chance to operate in 1946. Originally, the ownership of the fair grounds belonged to the bondholders, most of whom turned their bonds over to the firemen as a donation to see the Fair continue. The Grandstand Company owned the grandstand. Then later, the Clearfield Borough Park Authority paid off the remainder of the outstanding bonds.

In the late 1970's the Fair Board entered a lease agreement with Clearfield Borough to take over the management of the fair grounds and buildings. Since then the Fair Board has put over one million dollars in renovations and improvements into the fair grounds, also known as the Clearfield Driving Park.

In the 1980's the Fair Board purchased the old Silkmill property as a great addition to the fair grounds. It is now known as the Expo II building.

For many years the Clearfield County Fair has been the only place in central Pennsylvania to see great entertainers perform in front of the grandstand from Bob Hope to Garth Brooks and continues to bring big name entertainers.