Warren County Fair

Our History

On December 1, 1849 a group of Warren County residents met at the Opera House in Lebanon, Ohio in response to a call published in local newspapers for the purpose of forming the Warren County Agricultural Society.

From this group of about seventy persons attending, a constitution was adopted and a slate of officers was elected. Isaac Evans, the first Vice President of the society in 1840, took William Henry Harrison to what is now the Warren County Fairgrounds where he made a campaign speech. The future President Wm. H. Harrison planned and arranged the first agricultural fair with Issac Evans which did not take place until 10 years later. The first Fair held by the Society was in September of 1850 at Osborn Grove, at the end of East Main Street in Lebanon. The newspaper, "deemed it a respectable exhibition."  Receipts for the first fair were $354.50 and were accounted for by $214.00 membership fees, $25.00 from Shaker Society and $115.50 from the County Treasury. Membership dues in 1850 were $1.00 a year.

The second Fair was held on the same grounds with the fair moving the next year to the present location on North Broadway.  That year, 1852, a board fence was erected around five acres. Within the fence a exhibition hall, which was 24’ x 80’was built. This was the expanse of those early years' fairs.

On January 15, 1902, the 4-H program was started by Albert B. Graham with boys and girls in Clark County near Springfield, Ohio. It was met with enthusiasm by the Warren County Agricultural Society which built a Junior Fair program that developed into an added plus for the Society. The 4-H exhibits and livestock shows then joined flower shows, field crops, garden produces, arts and crafts, midway games and side shows, demolition derby, harness racing, high wire acts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups, floats, bands, farm equipment, and food of all kinds, to design the Warren County Fair we know today.

In 1947, a fire burnt down the original wooden grandstand and today the Grounds features a glass-enclosed grandstand that seats 2,700 Fairgoers. This grandstand has seated visitors at the Lebanon Raceway and Fairgrounds since 1971.  

In December of 2013, the Lebanon Raceway departed for a new venue at Miami Valley Gaming and Racino. This has brought exciting change to the Warren County Fairgrounds, and challenges & opportunities for the Warren County Agricultural Society. The Fairgrounds continues to be home to the Warren County Fair, as well as home for a respected training track and boarding facility for harness horses. Today, the fairgrounds covers 97 acres with 26 barns, show arenas and exhibit halls on site. The Fairgrounds is still managed by the Warren County Agricultural Society and is host to many exciting events year around.