Delaware State Fair 10-Day Centennial Celebration Kicks Off July 18th

2014 Delaware State Fair
Photos by Jason Minto Photography

The Delaware State Fair is just days away from kicking off its 100th year of fair festivities, the summer’s major Delaware attraction for families from across the peninsula to enjoy.  Marking its centennial year, attendees should expect traditional fair food, rides, fireworks, music and agriculture and much more, including the return of the Livestock Parade of Champions, a fair favorite pastime.

“I am thrilled and looking forward to the comeback of the Livestock Parade of Champions,” said Ron Draper, Delaware State Fair, board of directors’ president. “We did it several years ago and it was truly the heart of the fair.  Our youth, put a lot of hard work into their livestock and this is their shining moment to show off their award winning Grand and Reserve Champions.”

With a special $5 opening day adult admission fee, the celebration kicks off with a ceremonial pyrotechnics’ fireworks show in the fairground’s plaza saluting past vendors who have been with the Delaware State Fair since its infancy.  Attendees don’t have to miss a night of grandstand fireworks at the fair with displays scheduled for eight nights throughout the 10-day event.  Other centennial firsts include the parading of the Budweiser Clydesdales team and carriage and a 9,500 square foot Touch-A-Truck outdoor display.

Bill DiMondi, general manager for eleven years and twelve-year board president says tradition plays a big role in the fairgoers’ decision to return each year.  The biggest draw for patrons throughout fair history is its dedication to showcasing the area’s agriculture, farmers, agri-business and livestock.

“For 100 years, visitors seek annually to recapture the experiences that they enjoyed as children themselves and then they bring their children and grandchildren,” said DiMondi.  “The fair is truly a multi-generational experience that hi-lights the traditions but introduces something new and fresh each year.”

New this year of course, a ten-day long extravagant birthday celebration.  And what’s a birthday without cake – or how about 30,000 cakes?  In lieu of cutting thousands of slices to hand out to guests, the fair purchased 30,000 two-packs of Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets to distribute to all attendees.  Adults can wash them down with an exclusive Fair Centennial Craft Beer developed by Big Oyster, available in the Roost and concert beverage sale locations.

After digging into those Tastykakes’ fair goers can dig into the event’s history.  The evolution of the Delaware State Fair over the last century has been captured in time and is now available to the public to cherish for years to come.  A screening of the Treasured Memories Fair video will be running in the Exhibit Hall during the 10-day event.  The public can also purchase the Reflections of the Fair DVD at the front desk and buy a copy of the Treasured Traditions soft-bound book on Amazon for $35.  The memoir includes a collection of photos collected over the years through a coordinated effort with the Delaware Public Archives.

“As President, I witnessed the Fair’s biggest building boom costing over $10 million when the Exhibit Hall, Administration Offices, Schabinger Pavilion, Kent and Sussex Barns and Centre Ice Arena were built,” added DiMondi.  “The Fair was fortunate to have been the beneficiary of owning 77% of Harrington Raceway and Casino and the dividends received allowed the Fair Board to do wonderful things throughout the fairgrounds.”

“I credit the success and longevity of the Delaware State Fair to the board, the staff and most importantly the community,” added Draper.  “Our founding fathers back in 1919, sitting around the old train station could have never envisioned the fair as it looks today.  It’s quite amazing.

This year, the Delaware State Fair launched a newly designed website, https://delawarestatefair.com, with access to a direct line up of special centennial events, concerts, tickets, a fair calendar and a “Plan My Day” application for visitors to save events of interest to an itinerary for planning their day at the fair. For a full list of fair events visit https://delawarestatefair.com/10-days-fair/press.

For additional information, please contact Danny Aguilar, Assistant General Manager and Director of Marketing at 302-632-4991 or danny@thestatefair.net

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