The Guilford Agricultural Fair is the 2nd oldest agricultural fair in Connecticut. Established in 1859 by four Guilford farmers whose "cupboards" were "full of the fat of the land," the Guilford Fair had its origin on the eve of the Civil War. Now, our fair is traditionally held on the third full weekend of September each year. The early agricultural fairs on the Guilford green had become famous for their cattle shows, when the village was crowded with strings of parading cattle. The competition among farmers was to send the largest possible "delegation" of animals. By 1903 indoor exhibitions featured Guilford merchants displaying meat, potted plants, millinery, and photographs; there were also displays of Indian arrowhead collections and quilts and needlework. The advent of the trolley car in 1910 contributed to an unprecedented Fair crowd of nearly 10,000 people. In 1969 the Guilford Fair outgrew the confines of 8-acre Guilford Green and relocated to the 30-acre Hunter Farm off Lover's Lane. The Fair currently features many traditional agricultural programs year after year, as well as many new exhibits, activities and fair food items.
The Guilford Fair is owned and operated by the Guilford Agricultural Society. We are a private not-for-profit organization. Since the mortgage-burning on the property in 1984, a few traditional buildings have been erected and the parking lot has been improved. Our purpose is to promote the preservation of the agricultural heritage of Guilford and Connecticut. Our major programs include competitive exhibits for livestock, baking, canned goods, fruits & vegetables, flowers, needlework, arts and crafts, photography, educational exhibits and demonstrations, a farm museum, stage entertainment, novelty contests, commercial exhibits, a carnival midway and a petting zoo. We also provide a large selection of high-quality food concessions.