Welcome to the Dawson County Fairgrounds in Lexington Nebraska. Our goal is to provide you with useful information about our annual County Fair, as well as other events that take place on the fairgrounds through out the year.
The first ever fair in Dawson County was in September of 1886 and was put on by eleven Plum Creek business men. The first county fair in Plum Creek was held from September 28 to October 1. Admission was free and the Plum Creek Newspaper announced afterwards that the fair was "A Grand Success." The fenced grounds enclosed the grandstand, art hall and other structures. There was a variety of attractions. A major exhibition of farm animals, products and farm equipment. The floral hall was billed as the "largest ever seen in Western Nebraska." Local businesses had exhibits at the fair, which included dry goods, variety of stoves, carriages and machinery. The speed ring was the locations for cattle roping, as well as various horse, bicycle and slow mule races. Two races were held between a horse and a bicycle, the bicycle winning both times. Some $4000 was awarded as premiums. The many exhibits included farm animals, agriculture, horticulture, dairy, jellies, preserved fruits, needlework and fine arts.
The second fair was held in 1887, the third in 1888 were admission was twenty-five cents per adult and fifteen cents for children. Gate receipts amounted to $450. Annual fairs were discounted after the seventh fair until 1892 and none was held until 1897. July 1897 new articles of incorporation were filed for the Dawson County Fair Association. From 1898 until 1907, only a Street Fair was held and it wasn't until 1907 that an interest in a County Fair resurfaced. Forty acres of land (the site of the current fairgrounds) were acquired for three-thousand dollars and eight thousand dollars which was raised by sale of stock and donations help construct a grandstand, floral hall, cattle barn and horse barn. A race track was completed and the track and grounds were fenced in preparation for the first regular county fair to be held in fifteen years. The 1908 fair entertainment included carnival; Idaho Bill's Wild West Show; Acrobats, animal circus and many other shows. The 1908 County fair made a profit of one
hundred dollars. Fairs in the 20's And 30's included dances, baseball games, rodeo, band concerts and parachute jumping. Fair today's are just as exciting and filled with many types of entertainment which include top name entertainers, Demolition Derby, Bull Riding, Tractor Pulls, Exhibits and much more.