The Danbury Fair

The fair began in 1869 as an agriculturist fair to celebrate the city’s connection to the agriculture that included part of Fairfield County, lower Litchfield County and even adjacent parts of Dutchess and Putnam counties in New York State. But by the late 1800s the fair was run by the Danbury Agricultural Society and boasted a grandstand and race tract for trotting horses, livestock buildings, stables, three big tents and a main building.

In 1897fire destroyed many of the fair’s original buildings. The Agricultural Society took advantage of the occasion to make many improvements to the site. The Fair provided fundraising opportunity for many local churches, which fed the crowds from individual stands near the racetrack. Today just the smell of fried onions and peppers can bring back memories of a day at the Fair. The Fair provided employment for many area residents and in the 1880s all hat manufacturers in Danbury knew it was a given that a hatter could not be kept at work while the Danbury Fair was going on. For many years the Danbury School Board included “Danbury Day” in the school calendar which allowed the students to attend the Fair for free on Friday of Fair Week.

The Fair also introduced the area to new techn