THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS!AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!
New York, NY, August 10...Once a renowned rodeo clown and bullfighter, innovative circus producer Frank Curry ended his life on July 28th in Bowling Green Kentucky. He was found, according to his family, near the entrance to the city’s Hobson Grove Park, a multi-use recreational facility set in sylvan acreage. In his rodeo days, Mr.Curry was known as The Manhattan Matador, in his first circus years, as Vice President-Marketing, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. However, as creator and executive producer of the Ronald McDonald Circus, his crowning achievement, he was known as a master of creativity whose physical stature was enhanced by a ready smile and a white felt Stetson.
Born in New York City in 1940, Frank Curry was the son of Mr. Francis R. Curry, an attorney and his wife, Eileen McCarty Curry, an activist Roman Catholic charitable organizations. His grandfather was John F. Curry, leader of Tammany Hall in the politically tumultuous years from 1929 until 1934 when former New York State Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President of the United States.
Like most who were children in the 1950s, Mr. Curry watched the “magic box” that was television. Children’s programming at the time mostly featured Western stars such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Clayton Moore and X Brands as The Lone Ranger and Tonto, and Gail Davis as Annie Oakley. Children also spent time with cheerful clowns like Clarabelle on the Howdy Doody Show, and troupe members appearing on Claude Kirchner’s circus show or on the Sealtest Company’s “Big Top.” When a teenager, he began sneaking into Madison Square Garden, then on 50th Street and 8th Avenue to see in “real life” the rodeos and circuses reproduced on the little screen. There he met rodeo clown idols The Cajun Kid and Buck Legrand and legendary elephant trainer Hugo Schmidt who said to him, “You make good elephant man.”
After working for himself as a rodeo clown and for Ringling Brothers as marketing executive, Mr. Curry took the bold step of starting a live entertainment, The Ronald McDonald Circus from scratch. His goal was to provide a show that was low in ticket price at the same time it was a successful enterprise high in quality, versatility and imagination. His goal was realized, one example of which took place at the BridgestoneArena in Nashville, Tennessee. During a four-day engagement, the show garnered over 85,000 attendees, a record number for such an event.
A private Holy Mass will be celebrated for Mr. Curry at his parish, Saint Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan on Monday, August 13th. A memorial service will be held in the Fall.
Mr. Curry is survived by two sisters, Ann Curry Marcato, an advertising consultant, and Barbara Curry, a public relations specialist, as well as two nephews and numerous cousins. CONTACT: BARBARA CURRY 212-4232-1233 CURRYWALSH@NYC.RR.COM 29 EAST 104TH STREET NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10029
County fair features lessons in agriculture from a 1,400-pound pig
Fourteen-hundred-pound Harley the Hog at the Weber County Fair on Friday. By Charles F. Trentelman, Standard-Examiner staff from: standard.net Fri, 08/10/2012 - OGDEN — The pig race at the Weber County Fair doesn’t actually involve pigs, but Harley the Hog’s estimated 1,400 pounds make up for any porcine lack in the festivities.
Harley is the star of Animal Specialties. The touring company provides the petting zoo at state and county fairs around the country and has more than 200 farm animals — including horses, cows and, yes, pigs — under shade and available for petting.
People pet Vietnamese pot bellied pigs at the Weber County Fair on Friday. Connie Boger, an owner of Animal Specialties, which hails from Lowell, Ark., said news reports of swine flu being transmitted from pigs to humans weren’t hurting her business, that she could tell. The reports, issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control, say there has been a five-fold increase in cases of swine flu, from 29 a week ago to 158 this week, mostly in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Hawaii. The cases are mild, the CDC said, with only two requiring hospital care, and the main concern is that it appears to be a new strain more easily transmitted from pigs to humans.
BWW Reviews: Ringling Circus Brings Back Magic of Dragons to Bay Area
from: broadwaytoday.com by Harmony Wheeler Friday, August 10, 2012 Even with all the magic and all the fun, the thing I remember most from my childhood trips to the circus is my traditional circus cup filled with delicious flavored ice. So it’s only natural that after a very long hiatus from Ringling Bros., I couldn’t help but buy one of those overpriced, albeit creatively original, souvenir icee cups Wednesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland. And, along with a souvenir hat and free clown nose, I toted my elephant-shaped cup into the arena for an evening of pure entertainment.
Of course, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey are no Cirque du Soleil. I’ve seen a few Cirque shows for comparison – all mind-blowing and captivating – but Cirque and Ringling are completely different animals – quite literally, since Cirque has made a name for itself as a high-end circus without animals. On the other hand, “the greatest show on earth,” which makes stops in San Jose and Stockton in the coming weeks, comes with all the traditional circus acts: elephants, horses, lions, tigers, motorcycles, trapeze artists and more. And while there’s certainly an element of show and trickery in many of these acts, there’s also an element of fun missing in Cirque and an element of grandiosity that smaller traveling circuses lack.
Cold Spring author details Somers' role in American circus legacy
The Elephant Hotel, once owned by the prominent American circus businessman and animal keeper, Hachaliah Bailey is where the launch party for local author, Jo Pitkin's new book called 'Cradle of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York' will be hosted on Sunday, Aug. 12.
Photo courtesy of the town of Somers
from: lohud.com Written by Christopher Vaughan Aug 10, 2012 SOMERS — Local author Jo Pitkin’s new book on the circus-centric past of her hometown is not your typical historical page-turner.
The Somers native recounts the area’s peculiar yesteryears in a new collection of poetic verses and retellings called “Cradle of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York.”
“This whole project began when I thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be great to write a few poems about the place (where) I grew up?’ ” said Pitkin, 56, whose second book is a departure from her previous autobiographical pieces. The work, published by the History Press, is filled with stanzas describing the travels of 19th-century circus pioneers from Somers and the exotic animals that accompanied them. Many pages have vintage illustrations of life under the big top or portraits of those who ran the events.
The Somers Historical Society will host a launch party for the book at the town’s most famous site and national landmark, the Elephant Hotel at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The book “is so innovative and creative,” said Grace Zimmermann, vice president of the Somers Historical Society. “It shows history can show itself in a very untraditional light.”
Jackson County Fair: Making fudge a sweet science for Hodson's
Zeke Jennings | MLive.com Jeff Bruce of Hodson's Fudge stirs a pot of white batch mixture on Friday at the Jackson County Fair By Zeke Jennings from: www.mlive.com Published: Saturday, August 11, 2012 JACKSON, MI – There was a sweet smell inside the grandstand at the Jackson County Fair on Friday morning that was coming from a boiling pot of soon-to-be fudge at the Hodson’s Fudge booth.
Hodson’s crew has been on hand all week making fudge, about a dozen varieties, to be exact.
“This pot contains about 50 pounds of ingredients,” said Brad Bruce, who was in the middle of an hour’s worth of constant stirring, which is necessary to keep the still-liquid concoction from caramelizing. On Friday, Brad Bruce and his father Jeff Bruce, both of Hastings, were working on a white batch, which is the basis for Hodson’s peanut butter, peppermint, cherry and raspberry fudge, among other flavors.
“We’ve made six batches so far this week, plus this one,” Jeff Bruce said. “Each batch makes eight to trays.”
Brad clarified: “That translates to 900 to 1,000 pieces of fudge.” read more: http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/jackson/index.ssf/2012/08/jackson_county_fair_making_fud.html
Fair managers expect full carnival operations today
Posted: Aug 8, 2012 Dennis Bragg - KPAX News MISSOULA - Western Montana Fair managers remain hopeful the fair's carnival vendor can work out problems that made some fair goers and carnival fans pretty cranky on the event's opening day.
For many, the Western Montana Fair's opening day is all about the carnival, giving parents and kids a break in their summer routine. But Tuesday turned out to be more frustration than fun for some fair goers, a point not missed by Fair Director Steve Earle.
"It's real clear some of the rides didn't get here on time and they were a couple of hours late getting started last night," Earle said. "They did discount the all-day passes, or the POP tickets as we call them, $14 last night to compensate people."
What happened in Missoula Monday isn't dissimilar to other problems that have been trailing Royal West Amusement and Inland Empire Shows this summer's fair season.
The company, operated by Todd Keenan and his wife Becky, sends units to fairs all over the region.
At the Central Montana Fair in Lewistown, last week's 4 County Fair in Shelby, and even a month ago in Boise, there have been reports of delays and equipment problems, Earle said.
"We're going to have serious conversations with the carnival vendor," Earle said. "I know Todd well and I know he's tried hard to get this thing going and it will be up and going today. And we had three more rides come in last night, couple more generators. And here comes one right now. So, we'll get it." Earle said they'd do everything in their power to make people happy.
But Monday's problems, coupled with the other fair reports, have Earle and his staff considering different options. The fair's issued a request for proposals to see if there might be a new contractor available.
Since the carnival is a contracted fair vendor, any refunds or reimbursements will be up to Royal West. But Earle says the fair is confident the rest of this year's event will go smoothly.
"Outside of getting out my tools and helping them put the rides together, which I don't really want the responsibility for," Earle said. "We'll be going and going strong and hopefully we've got another nice day and people having fun."
Royal West hasn't had problems at every fair this year. A weekly newspaper in Fremont County, Wyo., where the company operated a carnival last week, said there were none of the complaints we've seen here in Montana.
Review: The circus as savior in 'Without a Net' The documentary follows young Brazilians who train as acrobats to escape their drug-ridden neighborhood. By Sheri Linden from: latimes.com August 9, 2012, 3:35 p.m. The favelas of Brazil are a familiar screen subject, and one not readily associated with showbiz whimsy. But a Rio neighborhood's unlikely big top is front and center in the effectively straightforward "Without a Net." Kelly Richardson's debut film benefits from her considerable access to four young acrobats, each finding new purpose in the circus and envisioning a life beyond poverty.
Social activist Junior claimed an abandoned lot in the city's Praça Onze section to illegally set up a circus school, aiming to break the drugs-and-crime pattern for local kids. Focusing on two teen girls, a 9-year-old boy and a portly young man whose mother apparently has spent most of her life pregnant, Richardson shapes her observations into intimate portraits.
Although the material is organized somewhat confusingly in the opening stretches, and there are moments when more context would be useful, the film is incisive within its brief running time.
For the central quartet, members of a select troupe that performs for the public, the discipline of learning to tumble feeds a sense of possibility, while the spotlight embraces their individuality. It's no wonder that the circus' janitor watches them with envy, wishing he'd had such a chance before taking to crime at age 12.
Knowing firsthand the dangers of the streets, the kids are philosophical about the physical risks of trapeze and contortion. But as a postscript makes clear, Junior's worthy project is no sure antidote to hard knocks. ----------------------- "Without a Net." No MPAA rating; in Portuguese with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour. At Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.
Civic groups in Redford, Plymouth bring circus to towns
Fridman Torales performs his Rola Bola Act with the Kelly Miller Circus. by Sharon Dargay from: hometownlife.com Aug. 9, 2012 Doreen Arwood loves the circus, but it's the show just outside the “big top” that never fails to entertain her. “My favorite thing is watching the big rigs come down Five Mile and watching them come in and set up,” said Arwood, president of the Redford Jaycees, one of several Metro Detroit civic groups that will sponsor circus shows next week. “Monday morning between 6-7 a.m. they'll be in. They start setting up as soon as they have everything in. At about 8:30 a.m., the elephants raise the tent. “I'm amazed how the circus people work together to raise it.”
Arwood said the public may watch the set up between 8:30-9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13. She hopes families will return later that day to watch the Kelly Miller Circus perform in the tent at Bell Creek Park, located at Five Mile and Inkster. Shows are set for 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children 2-11; Pre-sale tickets are available for cash only at Keg & Wine Party Store, 15590 Beech Daly; Cardinal Barbers, 27309 Five Mile; and the Redford Chamber of Commerce, 26050 Five Mile and with PayPal online through the Jaycees website, www.redfordjaycees.org. Circus day admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children at the circus box office.
Kelly Miller Circus delights Point Place Children of all ages welcome under big top
Siberian tigers perform tricks for a crowd of 1,100 people at the Kelly Miller Circus that performed at Friendship Park in Point Place. The circus performs today at Pacesetter Park in Sylvania Township.
THE BLADE/KATIE BY CASEY SUMNER, BLADE STAFF WRITER from: toledoblade.com 8/10/2012 The lights dimmed in the musty big top as spectators watched ringmaster John Moss III step forward. "Children of all ages," he boomed. "Welcome to America's one-ring wonder." Seconds later, five enormous Siberian tigers stalked their way into the center ring, followed by their trainer, Ryan Holder. So began "fascinating felines," the first act of the Kelly Miller Circus, which played two shows Thursday in Point Place as part of its tour of northwest Ohio.
A packed crowd of roughly 1,100 watched Mr. Holder, seemingly oblivious to any risk, bid the tigers to sit, jump, roll, and stand on their hind legs.
Next up came the Delara duo of Delena Fusco and Sara Greene, who performed a series of aerial tricks while suspended from ropes. At one point, with the crowd cheering, one of the female acrobats held her partner suspended in midair, connected only by a rope clenched in their mouths. Following them was an assortment of music, juggling, clowning, acrobatics and, of course, trained elephants that makes up the 2012 program of the Kelly Miller Circus, which will play two more shows in Sylvania Township today before heading to Michigan.
May Whiting, 6, left admires the painted design on her face that’s reflected on a mirror while her sister, Anna, 4, has hers applied before the start of the Kelly Miller Circus on Thursday. THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH Proceeds from Thursday's two shows went to the Point Place Business Association's Scholarship Fund, the Ottawa River Cleanup Association, and the Lions Football League, said Rick Knapp, a volunteer at the Point Place Community Center, which sponsored the show.
The circus's owner and producer, John Ringling North II, attends every show on the tour. His family has deep ties to the circus business: He counts the famous Ringling brothers as his relatives.
He spent his childhood summers, he said, traveling with his family's circus. After decades away from the circus, he purchased Kelly Miller in 2006.
"I wanted to go back to the life I grew up in," he said. "I'm very fond of all the animals."
Elizabeth Sugg of Toledo speaks with fellow animalrights protesters near the entrance to the Kelly Miller Circus at Friendship Park in Point Place. A handful of protesters were on hand for Thursday’s performance, asking people to boycott the circus over alleged cruelty. THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH Aside from the center-ring entertainment, children could enjoy peanuts, cotton candy, and balloons. They also could get chances to ride one of the circus's camels and elephants.
May Whiting, 6, from Point Place had her face painted to resemble a pink butterfly. Her favorite part, she said, was watching the animals "when they're running in circles."
Today's Kelly Miller Circus shows will start at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. in Pacesetter Park.
Kelly Miller Circus office manager Travana Brown, left, and performer Deya Rosales, right, distribute tickets before the start of the show. THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Kelly Miller Circus performer Ryan Holder wrangles several tigers during the first of two performances Thursday evening at Friendship Park in Point Place. - THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Alice Zunk, right, points out an elephant to her grand children, Claire, 4, and Jack, 23-months-old, while the family wait in line before the start of the first Kelly Miller Circus show Thursday. - THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
America’s Favorite Old-Fashioned Big Top Circus is Coming to Marceline!
Linn County Leader.com Posted Aug 8, 2012 Marceline, Mo. — Thanks to the sponsorship of The Marceline Chamber of Commerce, Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, America’s Favorite Big Top Circus is coming to Marceline, Missouri on Sunday, August 19th at the Industrial Park. The location, formally known as the Old Airport, will hold two scheduled performances at 2:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. Now in its 28th edition, C&M Circus has become internationally known for quality family entertainment. This authentic ‘One-Ring, Big Top Circus, has been featured on National Geographic’s Explorer TV series, Entertainment Tonight, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Arizona Highways Magazine. It has also been featured on the A&E Special, ‘Under the Big Top,’ and most recently, ‘On the Road with Circus Kids,’ a Nickelodeon special featured on the Nick News Program. Bring your friends and family out circus morning to watch as a familiar place in your town is transformed into a bustling circus city. Activity swirls around the grounds as animals are unloaded, the Big Top is erected, and rigging is prepared for performances later in the day. Enjoy the magic and tradition of the American Circus with your family and create memories that will last a lifetime. The action begins between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. so come watch the raising of the Big Top, then stay for the FREE Tour. This presentation offers a unique face-to-face opportunity for families, schools, and interested community members to meet and learn all about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus family, and includes a walking tour of the circus grounds. Learn interesting facts about our performers, the history of our show and the different species of animals in our Circus Family. In this presentation we will also address topics such as hygiene, grooming and the veterinary care all of our animals receive. In recent years the Tent Raising and Morning Tour have become a popular program for families and interested community members. It is presented in a way everyone, young and old, can learn many interesting facts about the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Family and now we have a brand new tent! This is a special part of Circus Day that should not be missed.
Circus Coming to Oceanport Next Week The Cole Bros. big tent will go up on Port Au Peck Avenue for shows starting Aug. 13 to benefit the Oceanport First Aid Squad.
By Amy Byrnes from: littlesilver.patch.com August 8, 2012 The circus returns to Oceanport, NJ next week as an annual summer fundraiser to benefit the borough's first aid squad.
Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars will kick off the first of three days of performances Monday, Aug. 13 at 4:30 p.m., followed by an evening show at 7 p.m.
General admission tickets are $16, reserved seating is $20 per ticket and VIP seating costs $23 each. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Cole Bros. website.
According to Carole Connor, co-chair of the event for the Oceanport First Aid Squad, this is the eighth year for the circus and is one of two fundraisers they hold throughout the year.
"They keep it fresh," she said of the production, which features elephants, tigers, French poodles, springboard gymnasts, a Russian Barre routine, a magician, the human cannonball, clowns and more.
While she was reluctant to give any exact figures for how much the event brings in, Connor said that they receive a percentage of ticket sales and get a larger portion for those purchased in advance.
Connor said it's been challenging raising money in the down economy. "We try to do whatever we can," she said.
Lebanon Fair will go on, rain or shine, organizers say
By FRANCESCA KEFALAS From The Norwich, Ct Bulletin Aug 08, 2012 Lebanon, Conn. — A mix of new attractions and community mainstays will be featured in the 53rd annual Lebanon Country Fair. The fair opens Friday and runs through Sunday. New features include monster truck rides, a cannoli vendor and barbecue, said Rand Wells, a former superintendent of the fair and the volunteer in charge of vendors and concessions. “We try and protect our vendors and make sure there are not too many duplicates,” Wells said. “That’s not something other fairs do.” The fair, organized by the Lions Club, is a major fundraiser for the club and other organizations in town. The Lions will distribute the profits from the fair to many town organizations. But many other town nonprofits have their own booths at the fair and raise money from the sales of food, drinks and other items. “It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Wells said. “And it is for many of our local organizations, as well.”
Read more: Lebanon Fair will go on, rain or shine, organizers say - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x1412424644/Lebanon-Fair-will-go-on-rain-or-shine-organizers-say#ixzz232pMyry1
Circus Arrives in St. Charles, IL Next Week Piccadilly Circus bills an hour of fun time for children before each show. Performances are scheduled Wednesday through Sunday at the Kane County Fairgrounds.
A performer poses with an elephant for Piccadilly Circus. Credit Courtesy of Piccadilly Circus By Ted Schnell from stcharles-il.patch.com August 8, 2012 The big top is coming to St. Charles!
If you see a tent going up at the Kane County Fairgrounds next week, don’t be surprised. It won’t be easy to miss, either — the blue and gold European-style tent is the big top for Piccadilly Circus, which has scheduled two shows daily Wednesday through Friday and three each on Saturday and Sunday.
Billing itself as the Piccadilly Circus Blast! Edition, the circus opens one hour prior to each show with its Kids Fun Zone that includes elephant rides, pony rides, a free petting zoo and more amid theater seating in a climate-controlled big top, according to a release.
In its release, Piccadilly Circus boasts attractions such as: •Racing camels — the largest herd of performing camels in the world. •Oka, a 9,000-pound Asian elephant, demonstrates balance standing atop a 3-foot ball and rolling across the circus ring. Oka is joined by a herd of African and Asian elephants and dancing zebras. •The Romanian Olympic High Bar Team performs feats, such as being shot high in the air by a giant catapult as others dive from the very heights of the 80-foot-tall big top. •Motorcycles defy gravity, showgirls on stilts tower above the audience and giant wheels of death rotate at breathtaking speeds. •The world’s funniest circus comedian. There’s also the smallest bike on the planet.
Tickets and show times are available online at www.thefuncircus.com or by phone at 1-877-373-0477. All seats are general admission. Advance deals include free kids and two-for-one adult tickets.
Wallenda tells Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance his family's story of high-wire artists
Rick Wallenda brought the slippers he wears on the high wire for his talk with members of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance on Wednesday.JAMES A. JONES JR./Bradenton Herald from: bradenton.com By JAMES A. JONES JR. August 9, 2012 LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Wallenda family reunions are strange affairs.
For one thing, there is little need to catch up on what others have been doing.
"We all do the same thing," said Rick Wallenda, 57, of Sarasota.
The family of high-wire daredevils are known for their performances without a net.
Members of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance listened raptly Wednesday as Wallenda described performances that leave audiences holding their breath, and put hearts in throats.
Rick Wallenda's cousin, Nik Wallenda, walked a tightrope June 15 on live TV over Niagara Falls between Canada and the United States.
That was a triumph. But in 1962, a seven-person chair pyramid collapsed in Detroit, throwing three of the Wallendas to the ground, killing Richard Faughnan and Dieter Schepp.
Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/08/09/4150561/wallenda-tells-lakewood-ranch.html#storylink=cpy
Boxing kangaroo draws crowds at Va. county fair as well as critics Aug 08, 2012 By Sherri Ly, @SherriLyFox5
Zoppe Italian Circus (Rick Purdue) By Tresca Weinstein from: timesunion.com August 8, 2012 The story of Zoppe Italian Circus is so romantic you almost think the PR guys made it up.
Back in 1842, a French clown named Napoline Zoppe and a Hungarian equestrian ballerina named Ermenegilda met in a plaza in Budapest, and ran away together to Venice to start a circus. More than a century later, Napoline's great-grandson, Alberto, brought the circus to America — and met his wife, Sandra, when he asked for volunteers during a show and she raised her hand.
Today, their son Giovanni performs the role of Nino the clown, embodying the heart and soul of the circus amid aerial dancers, jugglers, tightrope walkers and canine performers.
The circus is in town Thursday through Sunday under a 500-seat big-top tent pitched next to Proctors. At a glance ZOPPE ITALIAN CIRCUS Where: Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady When: 7 p.m. Thursday; 1 and 7 p.m. Friday; 1, 4, and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday Tickets: $25-$35; 17 and under, $15-$25 Info: 346-6204 or http://www.proctors.org Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Proctors-brings-Zoppe-Italian-Circus-to-region-3772640.php#ixzz232yuUPMd
Missouri State Fair gets under way Thursday in Sedalia
By MARCIA GORRELL/Staff writer from: marshallnews.com Wednesday, August 8, 2012 The 110th Missouri State Fair, titled "Celebrate Then and Wow" will take a look back at the long history of the fair which began in 1901. At this year's fair, set for Aug. 9 - 19, special tours of the fairgrounds' historic buildings will be given two to three times each day.
A special booklet has been put together to commemorate the history, which includes a 1910 flying demonstration by the Wright Brothers and the visits of four U.S. presidents. Weather has also played a big part in the history of the state fair, including 2011 when 85 mph winds blew through the grounds, destroying tents and knocking down trees.
This year with record July temperatures, State Fair Director Mark Wolfe is already getting national news networks calling about how the heat wave may affect this year's festivities.
"It's something we have to deal with," he said in an interview on Wednesday, Aug. 1, with the Marshall Democrat-News. "Certainly in Missouri you never know what you are going to get."