The Mercer County Fair has been important to the residents of Mercer County since its first fair in 1853. Today, 167 years later, the fair still brings the county together each July. We are a small county, with only 17,000 residents, yet over 11,000 visit our fairgrounds each summer. Our exhibitions, from livestock to hobbies, antiques, photography, to culinary arts, flowers, and vegetables, allow a large number of our people to enter the competitions.
The volunteers serving as directors of the Mercer County Agricultural Society devote hours to the fair and work hard to improve the fairgrounds. Our fairgrounds are park-like, well-maintained, and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as historically important. They were listed because of their importance to the social and agricultural development of western Illinois.
Our old-fashioned all-American county fair attracts the youth of the county too. The 4-H exhibition has been a part of our fair for over 50 years. Youth enter the 4-H exhibitions, junior competitions, and open shows. Young people also enter the queen pageants, the talent shows, and the various baby contests. The Mercer County Fair is still important to Mercer County as it was 167 years ago!