State Fair’s centennial celebration begins today

HARRINGTON — The Delaware State Fair is kicking off its 100th year of fair festivities today with a special $5 adult admission.

For the centennial year, attendees should expect the traditional array of food, rides, fireworks, music and agriculture and more, along with the return of the Livestock Parade of Champions, a fair pastime.

“I am thrilled and looking forward to the comeback of the Livestock Parade of Champions,” said Ron Draper, Delaware State Fair board of directors’ president. “We did it several years ago and it was truly the heart of the fair. Our youth put a lot of hard work into their livestock and this is their shining moment to show off their award winning Grand and Reserve Champions.”

Other centennial firsts include the parading of the Budweiser Clydesdales team and carriage and a 9,500 square-foot Touch-A-Truck outdoor display.

There will be fireworks on eight of the fair’s 10 nights.
Bill DiMondi, general manager for 11 years and 12-year board president says tradition plays a big role in the fairgoers’ decision to return each year. The biggest draw for patrons throughout the fair’s history is its dedication to showcasing the area’s agriculture, farmers, agri-business and livestock.

“For 100 years, visitors seek annually to recapture the experiences that they enjoyed as children themselves and then they bring their children and grandchildren,” said DiMondi. “The fair is truly a multi-generational experience that highlights the traditions but introduces something new and fresh each year.”

To celebrate the fair’s birthday, visitors will receive cake. In lieu of cutting thousands of slices to hand out to guests, the fair purchased 30,000 two-packs of Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets to distribute to all attendees. Adults can wash them down with an exclusive Fair Centennial Craft Beer developed by Big Oyster, available in the Roost and concert beverage sale locations.

A screening of the Treasured Memories Fair video will be running in the Exhibit Hall during the 10-day event. The public can also purchase the Reflections of the Fair DVD at the front desk and buy a copy of the Treasured Traditions soft-bound book on Amazon for $35. The memoir includes a collection of photos gathered from over the years through a coordinated effort with the Delaware Public Archives.

“As president, I witnessed the fair’s biggest building boom costing over $10 million when the Exhibit Hall, Administration Offices, Schabinger Pavilion, Kent and Sussex Barns and Centre Ice Arena were built,” Mr. DiMondi said.

“The fair was fortunate to have been the beneficiary of owning 77 percent of Harrington Raceway and Casino and the dividends received allowed the fair board to do wonderful things throughout the fairgrounds.”
For information on the fair, visit the event’s newly designed website,

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