Wisconsin Valley Fair
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Wisconsin Valley Fair

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The first county fair was held in Marathon Park by the Marathon County Agricultural Society on September 25, and 26, 1868--only 20 years after Wisconsin received statehood. According to the Wisconsin River Pilot, the inaugural fair started with a parade into the fair with about 2,000 people including 500 women. It officially opened by the Secretary, Honorable W.G. Silversthorn. The Honorable C. Hoeflinger spoke in German stating, "Nobleness of labor and the trial pursuits of life, giving the farmer the highest rank and praise for his patient toil, and the benefits derived therefrom." The biggest attractions were nice flowers and vegetables, but horses, cattle, swine, sheep and poultry were also exhibited. The Siberian crab apple was successfully shown, and therefore it was recommended that it could grow in Marathon County. The first fair was a perfect success, a "Glorious day for Marathon County, and will always be spoken of with pride."

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