About the Fairgrounds
2017 Fair Dates: July 28, 29, and 30
As community members, we take a common sense approach in realizing the value of a dollar by providing fun family entertainment and promoting agriculture at a cost affordable to everyone. Lamoille County Field Days strives to keep a time honored tradition and family event we are proud of.
On August 12, 1961, with the involvement of the Young Farmers Organization and the Future Farmers of America, a Tractor Rodeo was held at Peoples Academy in Morrisville. Si Jewett, the Extension Agent, and Everett Harris, a teacher and FHA Advisor, coordinated the rodeo and helped the clubs with scheduling and details. From this event, Lamoille County Field Days was born.
The tractor rodeo was moved to the Ivan Maxham farm on the Laporte Road in 1963 where it was held for four years. Over the next few years, activities, such as a greased pig contest, rolling pin throw, lumberjack contest, and horse pulling were added.
In 1967, Field Days was held in the meadow at the intersections of Route 15 and Route 100 on the current site of Morrisville Plaza. Rides, exhibits, and animal tents were offered in addition to the original tractor pulls. Field Days was still a one-day event with demonstrations from local farmers and merchants offering their wares for sale, live music, and fireworks when it moved in 1969 to the Silver Ridge Road in Hyde Park on the current site of House of Troy. In the 1970’s, the recession hit Field Days. The treasurer reported a balance of $594 and outstanding bills of $779 at the December 1974 board meeting. The directors found creative ways to cut costs by doing more work themselves and soliciting donations. The board prepared to cut back from a two-day event to a one day event; however, by April, due to tremendous public support of donated materials and services, Field Days expanded to a three-day event. The rest of the 1970’s fluctuated between good and lean years and three-day to two-day events. Field Days called Silver Ridge home from 1969 until 1976 when it moved to Demars Field on Harrel Street in Morrisville. In 1980, 15 acres of land was purchased for $18,300 on Johnson Plains and a permanent home was established on Route 100C in Johnson.
In 1981, a 30’x60’ pole barn was constructed, and the Cook Shack was moved from Demars’ field in time for the first Field Days held on Rte 100C. The Arts and Crafts building was erected and a well was drilled the following year. Tickets booths, septic system and toilets followed in 1983. The following year, the Farm Bureau, 4-H building, and phone service were added. In 1985, a 90’x500’ piece of land was given by Marble Realty. An addition to the cook shack and a lean-to for oxen were done and 1.04 acres was acquired from Marble in 1987.
In 1995, Lamoille County Field Days became the first fair in the state to initiate a pay-one- price ticket that included all entertainment and midway rides for $5. A maple center was constructed and named in honor of Ernie Audibert, a long-time director and grounds manager in 1997. In 1999, the Vermont Agricultural Fairs Capital Grant program was established and is still in existence as of 2013. In the 2000’s, the grant money received was used to help defray costs for purchasing 10 acres of adjoining land, and improvements, such as electrical upgrades, perimeter fencing, an animal barn, a portable stage, a pole barn, arena fencing, bleachers, an enclosed pulling arena, new announcer booths, and a new cook shack with an adjacent covered outdoor eating area.
Lamoille County Field Days has grown from a one day event to three days, from a few hundred people to over 10,000, and from traveling from site to site yearly to a permanent home, but it still remains an agricultural event held to provide fun for families at an affordable price. This success has been only because of tremendous support from the community, the enthusiasm of its volunteers, and the dedication of its directors.