About

The Fairground is comprised of approximately 100 acres and contains 23 permanent structures. It includes over 400 permanent camp spaces with water and electrical. The Fair Society was formed in 1868 and purchased the first 33 acres of the current fair site in 1880.

Our board of directors is comprised of 15 members that are elected by a county wide election and serve based on the location of their residence offering representation from each township. In addition to the board of directors, over 300 other volunteers offer up time to the fair and off season events annually. Professionally the Delaware County Fair is a member of the Association of Iowa Fairs and the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.

Interesting facts about the Delaware County Fair

  • A Mr. Morley, living in Pennsylvania, spent time living in Hopkinton, Iowa with a resident Mr. Dubois. When he was here he exhibited his new invention he called Barbed Wire at the 1858 and 1859 Delaware County Fair in Delhi, IA. The early fairs were in Delhi prior to the establishment of the Fair Society in 1868 when it was moved to Manchester. He exhibited a panel of fence with short barbs wound around it. Mr. Morley did not request a patent for his “barbed wire” invention. Another fellow by the name of Glidden also created a similar invention and a patent trial ensued. The local Sheriff testified in this trial that his horse was bloodied by the barbs as evidence barbed wire was first exhibited here. Mr. Glidden won the patent. Mr. Morley died in an insane asylum in Pennsylvania in 1867.
  • The current fairgrounds was purchased in 1880. 33 1/3 acres was purchased by the Fair Society from Joseph Belknapp for $2833.33
  • The Toole addition was purchased in 1997.
  • The Croskey addition was purchased in 2001.
  • The Morehouse addition was purchased in 2008.
  • The Beck addition was purchased in 2022.
  • The Pavilion was built in 1918 and celebrated its 100th birthday at our 150th Fair celebration in 2018.
  • The wood floor in the Pavilion was installed in 1957 and the building was remodeled in 1989.
  • The Community Center was built in 1986.
  • The Grandstands burned in 1977 and the current stands were erected in 2001.
  • The Farm Bureau Show Ring and the Horse Barn were erected in 2013.
  • The Steer N Stein is the newest building, erected in 2018.
  • The Hog Barn, our biggest building received a major remodel in 2019.

Board

Kurt Palmer, CVFM, President
Kathy Rahe, Vice President
Laura Lewin, Treasurer
Al Boge, Director
Josh Hellman, Director
Al Kelchen, Director
Ed McIntyre, Director
Rick Palmer, Director
Dan Ries, Director
Bob Ries, Director
Karelene Sellner, Director
Steve Vorwald, Director
Shawn Waterhouse
David Willie, Director

Staff

Jeannie Domeyer, CFE, Manager
Shelley Zumbach
Anna Brade
Ed Eike
Tom Gibbs