With the feeling that an agricultural fair was needed in this locality, the Contoocook Board of Trade took the initiative. It was expected that the farmers would make this a success if the agricultural interests gave the proper enthusiasm and support. This would then be made an annual affair. The Fair was named the "Hopkinton Fair" but it was also known as the "Contoocook Valley Fair." On December 2, 1985, the Directors of the Hopkinton Fair Association voted to change the name to the "Hopkinton State Fair."

The first Fair was held at George’s Park. It was a two-day event held on a Tuesday and Wednesday, October 5 and 6, 1915. The net profit was just under five dollars. In 1921, the Fair became a three-day event, held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday became the "Big Day" as many of the stores and businesses in Concord and surrounding towns closed at noon so their employees could go to the Fair.

These early fairs were centered on the racetrack. Many local people had horses and they would show them off at sulky or harness races. Baseball games were also a big attraction, held on the ball diamond located inside of the oval racetrack. The Midway consisted of amusement rides, games, side show tents, beano and, of course, food stands. All of the concessions were also located inside the oval racetrack. The local Contoocook Town Band held concerts and Vaudeville Stage shows also became popular events.

Many people brought livestock, fowl, swine, sheep and other small animals to exhibit for ribbons and small amounts of money as prizes. Fruits, vegetables, homemade pastries, canned goods, and home crafts were also very popular exhibits. In 1947 the Fair moved up behind the present Hopkinton High School, as more room was needed due to the tremendous growth they were experiencing. In 1953 the Fair moved again to its present location and in 1980 became a 5 day event opening on Thursday and continuing through Labor Day. In 2014 the decision was made to have the Fair return to a 4 day event. The fair is currently held Friday through Labor Day.

Over its history, the Hopkinton State Fair has become a large, top-ranked agricultural fair in New Hampshire and is well known for its agricultural exhibits as well as the fine entertainment which it furnishes each year. The Directors and Staff endeavor to improve the Fair every year to make it more enjoyable for our many guests.


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