Fairs in Carroll County have been around since the 1870s.
A Carroll County Fair Association was first mentioned in 1871 after buying the original fairgrounds from the Carroll Agricultural and Mechanical Association. This fairground and horse track was located at the corner of Hwy 227 & Hwy 42. This was the site of a few fairs before the land was sold by 1879.
In 1908, the Carroll County Fair was held in Sanders, KY, it was known as the Tri-County Fair. Held in October, admission was 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children under 12 years of age. This was also noted as the 1st Annual Carroll County Fair, from the fair catalog of that year.
In 1920, the first fair was held in Carrollton. It was held in a warehouse on 4th Street.
In 1924, the Carroll County Fair was under the auspices of the Farm Bureau in October.
In 1927, the Carroll Co. Fair was held in the Lerman’s Building on Main Street under private management. Today this building is the home of the Jefferson Community College.
In 1928, the fair was under the management of the Carroll County Fair Association and has been since.
In 1934, the Carroll County Fair moved to a new warehouse on 8th street called the Henry County Warehouse. Flyers boasted more seating and a bigger arena for horse shows. The William L. Wheeler Hall of Justice and detention center are located there now.
In 1942, 43, 44, & 45, there were no Carroll County Fairs held because of WWII.
In 1946 & 1947, the Fair was held in the Brite- Lite Tobacco Warehouse on U.S. 42.
In 1948, there wasn’t a fair, this time due to not having a place to hold the fair. Brite-Lite had built a 2nd warehouse where the fairs were held. So the Fair Board decided to present a plan to purchase land for a permanent fair ground or have a long time lease. As of today both of the Brite-Lite warehouses are gone, a vacant lot remains and a new auto parts store has just built a new facility on the other site.
For many years the fairs were then held on the Carroll County High School grounds BUT did you know that the Carroll County Fair Board of 1946 named these 17 acres received from R.M. Barker as the Carroll County War Memorial Recreation Center before there was a high school at this location. Mr. Barker also gave $5,000 to the fair board. Many may even remember the horse stables and race car track that were there.
In 1949, the fair had a boxing program and dog show as two opening attractions.
In 1951, Ralph M. Barker Day was observed at the fair.
In 1956, the 1st Carroll County Fair beauty contest was held. W.J. Louden was chairman of the event. The winner that year was Miss Lila Jo Gillock. She was crowned by her sister who was Miss Kentucky of 1955, Miss Ann Shirley Gillock.
In 1966, the first talent show was held at the fair. Winners included Dennis Green, Mrs. Kay Gayle, Irvin Bear, Linda Barber, Sandy Steele, and Peggy O’Neal.
In 2001, after holding the Carroll County Fairs for 51 years on the grounds of the Carroll County War Memorial Recreation Center which became the home of the Carroll County High School when it was built in 1969, the Carroll County Fair moved to its new home on Vincent Weaver Way behind Wal-Mart. Many improvements are being made yearly to make the fair grounds a place that the people of Carroll County can enjoy for years to come.