In 1846, the Michigan Agricultural Society formed the First Fair of Michigan in order to feature the popular sport of harness racing. Interestingly enough, what is now the Oaklands on Western Michigan University's campus, actually was the housing for the breeding horses at this time. More than 150 years later, the Kalamazoo County Fair is still a major form of family entertainment in southwest Michigan, as well as a major venue for promoting agricultural awareness. Surrounded by farming communities, the Fair offers 4-H clubs and other interested youths the opportunity to showcase their work in all agricultural areas.
A not-for-profit organization, the fair's 15-member board, all volunteers from the Kalamazoo County Agricultural Society, donates approximately 4,500 hours per year. Originating in Schoolcraft, it later moved to Lake Street and Portage Road where it was known as the National Fair Grounds. A third move found the fair at Rose Street and Kalamazoo Avenue, and finally at its present location on East Lake Street.
The purpose of the Kalamazoo County Fair Board is to conduct an annual fair that promotes local agriculture and creates a positive experience for families in Kalamazoo County and surrounding areas through:
The 2006 Kalamazoo County Fair takes place Monday August 7 - Sunday August 13.