Delaware State Fair a century ago

July 26, 2022

The Delaware State Fair as we know it today was founded in 1919 as the Kent and Sussex County Fair, with the first event held in 1920. However, mentions of earlier iterations of the Delaware State Fair date back to just after the Civil War. The fair was held in Dover for a number of years before moving to Elsmere in 1917. It continued until it went bankrupt in 1924. Leaders of the Kent and Sussex County Fair officially changed the name to Delaware State Fair in 1969. 

This photograph from the Hagley Museum & Library is dated 1919 and likely shows the crowds at the state fair in Elsmere. 

This year’s Delaware State Fair began July 21 and runs until Saturday, July 30 in Harrington. 


  • Delaware Cape Region History in Photographs, published every Tuesday in the Cape Gazette, features historical photos from Delaware's Cape Region - particularly - and from throughout Sussex County and Delaware generally.

    Readers are invited to submit photos of historic interest. They can be mailed to the Cape Gazette at PO Box 213, Lewes, DE 19958, or via email to

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