Fair Fun Facts

  • The Fair is run by the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show Association with an executive committee of volunteers. It is a 501 ©3 with no outside funding.
  • Weather permitting, a member of Sussex County Beekeepers goes into a cage of live bees and answers questions from Fairgoers as well as sharing information about bees. There is also a cross section of a hive in their display with the queen color coded to make her easier to find.
  • The Carnival, Reithoffer Shows, Inc., comes in a week before to set up and are gone to the next fair the day after the Fair closes.
  • New Jersey has the strictest laws in the country governing ride safety. Every ride MUST be licensed by the State and all rides must be inspected and approved to operate prior to opening. They are then re-inspected, unannounced, during the Fair.
  • The Fair was canceled in the 1950s because of hurricane damage to the temporary Fairgrounds in Branchville.
  • The Sussex County Horse Show was started first and then consolidated with farm exhibits to make the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show.
  • When the first Fair was held on its permanent grounds on Plains Road in 1976, there was only one building- the Richards Exhibit Building.
  • Number of pig races per Fair: 40+
  • There are two kinds of classes in the livestock shows. Breeding classes judge the animals. Showmanship classes judge the ability of the exhibitor to show the animal to advantage.
  • Garbage is picked up at dawn each morning of the Fair. During the day, garbage is picked up from the grounds and taken outside the fences to wait for the next morning’s pickup.
  • Approximately 200 yards of manure are removed each day.
  • During the Fair, 200+ yards of mulch are used in the Livestock Pavilion.
  • Over 2000 flowers and plants are ordered each early spring for the greenhouse. As these plants mature, they are moved into planters, hanging pots, flower boxes and gardens around the grounds.
  • Some horse show and livestock show classes begin as early as 8 a.m.
  • There are less than 8 permanent employees of the Fairgrounds.
  • The Fairgrounds are closed to outside events a week before so vendors and exhibits can set up.
  • Local non-profits use the Fair as a fundraiser.
  • Fair divisions that run shows- Home and Hobby, Honey, Livestock shows, etc.- are planned and staffed by volunteers- over a thousand.
  • 2019 Livestock count: Beef Cattle- 193; Poultry- 215; Sheep-267; Rabbits/Cavey- 202; Dairy Cattle- 299; Goats- 273; Swine- 20; Alpaca- 8; Oxen- 2; Horses-545
  • Queen Pageant: Andover Boro, Stanhope and Walpack have never won the title. Sparta has most wins with 9. There have been 3 mother/daughter winners and 1 sister team: Pat Gray, Fredon & daughter Whitney Redline, Fredon; Diane Danzer, Branchville & daughter Molly Gill Frankford; Debbie Competielle, Ogdensburg & daughter Kelsey Kistle, Sandyston; sisters Sarah and Kelly Lynch of Fredon
  • For years Beulah the elephant, part of the Commerford Petting Zoo, would take a bath in the Fairgrounds pond the day before the Fair opened.
  • The Snook Agricultural Museum’s general store counter sells old fashioned candy sticks, cartons of milk, and ice cream. Demonstrations of some of the antique tools are done throughout the day.
  • There are approximately 60 4-H clubs in Sussex County. Projects and club booths are in the Shotwell Building. The rabbits on display in Barn 6 all week are all 4-H project animals.


Princesses in a wagon
Princesses in a wagon Horse jumping Live Honey Bees Carnival workers unloading Watching a pig race Fair mascott