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The 1987 Woodbury County Fair will be August 5-9 with Schnetter Amusements of Aurelia providing the carnival.

– From an article taken from the Moville Record October 16, 1986

About the Woodbury County Fair

The history of the fair stretches all the way back to 1928, and we continue to grow and evolve every year. Contact us to learn more about the Woodbury County Fair.



Our Early Years

When the Interstate Fair, which had been held in Sioux City for many years, was discontinued with the 1926 season, the Woodbury County Farm Bureau joined with representatives of Plymouth County, Iowa; Union County, South Dakota; and Dakota County, Nebraska, to hold an inter-county fair at Moville in September 1927. It was named the Big-4 Fair, and Ralph McElrath of Moville was elected president of the new organization.

Lack of cooperation prevented the hoped-for success, but in the next year, 1928, the Farm Bureau arranged for the exposition to be held at the fairgrounds in Sioux City. The Sioux City Chamber of Commerce donated $7,500, and the Monahan Legion Post also helped support the movement. There still was little public interest. In 1930, the Woodbury County Farm Bureau asked various towns in the county to bid for a county fair. Moville's bid of $8,000 was the winner.

Officers of the new organization formed at this time were Alvern Wendel of Bronson, president; Milford Beeghly of Pierson, vice president; Fred McDermott of Moville, secretary; and Henry Wood of Moville, treasurer. It was decided to hold the fair the following September 10, 11, and 12. The undertaking proved successful; there was an attendance of 13,105, and the fair board realized a modest profit.

Total Attendance in 1930 - 13,105

Some exhibits were displayed in booths on Main Street; others in what is now the Masonic Temple; and the 4-H exhibits were in a garage on Second Street. Livestock was shown in a large barn on the W. E. Hall farm at the east end of Main Street. Among the attractions at the fair were a baseball game each afternoon, a hog and chicken calling contest, a horseshoe pitching contest in the town park, and foot races at the baseball park. Bands from surrounding towns furnished music each day.

In 1930 the Fair Association purchased 29 acres of the W. E. Hall farm, which joined Moville on the east. The large barn there, which had been used at fair time for stock exhibits, was remodeled. A sheep barn and hog house were built; also, a women's exhibit hall was erected.

An interesting item taken from a clipping of a Sioux City newspaper on August 27, 1931, states that "the following person financed and built the grandstand which will eventually become the property of the Fair Association; F.L. McDermott, Wallace Rundall, James Anderson, J. C. Larkin, and C. C. Everhart." Several years later, a roof was erected over the grandstand. In 1962, there were 68 acres and 14 buildings; in the ensuing years, many additions and improvements have been made.

1962 Growth - 68 Acres

1962 Growth - 14 Buildings

Many attractions have been offered to boost attendance. These included an Old Settler's Day. Free admission was given to all who had lived in the county for 50 years or more. Also, there have been many noted speakers, including Milo Reno, president of the Iowa Farmer's Union (1930); Lieutenant Governor Nelson G. Kraschel (1933); and U. S. Senator Guy M. Gillette of Cherokee (1934). When Henry C. Field of Shenandoah was the featured speaker on September 16, 1932, the attendance was 6,000, a record for any one day.