History of the Ozaukee County Fair

The Ozaukee County Fair began in 1859, organized by the Ozaukee County Agricultural Society. The first Ozaukee County Fairs were held on leased land in Cedarburg. Soon it moved to Saukville, where it remained until 1890. It returned to Cedarburg when a half mile race track was built for horse racing, and it has remained at that location ever since.

“There was only one year in more than a century and a half that Ozaukee County didn’t celebrate with a Fair – 1933, the height of the Great Depression,” said Past Fair President Roger Boehlke. “But it was revived a year later for its 75th anniversary, it’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration. Out of respect for the depressed economy, that year the Fair board reduced the cost of admission from 50 cents to 25 cents.”

In 1942, Fair officials unanimously decided to do away with admission prices in response to President Roosevelt’s assertion that sports and amusements were essential to the morale of the American people and the welfare of communities.

“In exchange for free admission, Fair officials encouraged the public to show their support by attending the value-priced grandstand shows,” said Boehlke. “That theory of community giving has helped support the Fair for the 75 years following the Great Depression, and we hope it can carry us through for another 75 years.”