Founded: March 9, 1861
Ended: January 1, 1952
Location: 14 Ruth St, Vernon, NY, USA
Vernon Fair Committee
OverviewFor nearly 100 years, from 1848 to 1942, the Vernon Fair was a big deal, attracting residents and regional visitors alike too a late-September event. Started on the grounds of the Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church, and moved to what is now the practice oval at Vernon Downs, the fair featured horse races and baseball, plus animal and plant exhibits and many other events.
Early horse races ran from Heinig’s Corners to Route 5. Eventually, the association purchased the property which is now Vernon Downs, constructing a race track and in 1904, a grandstand. In 1923, the grandstand was enlarged for viewing of baseball and races. A floral hall was erected in 1921, with four buildings for exhibits.
Additional features included amusements like merry-go-rounds, Ferris wheels, balloon launches, and a car show.
Over the years, visitors arrived by horses, carriages, trains, and automobiles.
The Vernon Fair ended in 1952, when Vernon Dows Raceway was constructed.
In 1976, an update fair was held to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial. It proved popular and continued – thus was born, the Vernon Mini-Fair.
Gertrude Smith, Monday Club Papers
Kitson, Pioneers of Vernon
Law, Sue and Diane.