The 100th Durham Fair runs Thursday, Sept. 26 to Sunday, Sept. 29, and planning for the event has been ongoing since 2016, starting with the creation of the 100th fair committee.
One of the goals of the committee was to redesign the fair’s logo for this year’s centennial celebration.
“We had to think: ‘What do we want to do for our logo?’,” said Karen Conway, first vice president of the Durham Agricultural Fair Association. “We decided that we wanted to stick with our current logo theme. We wanted the 100th to be memorable to the folks involved with the fair and the patrons who go to the fair.”
The final logo re-design reflects slight changes, keeping the emblem familiar, while giving a nod to the fair’s anniversary.
Conway said an array of memorabilia has been made to celebrate the occasion, including pins, T-shirts and posters.
The committee also is working to create the Everlasting Tribute; a patio being constructed around the flagpoles at the fairgrounds.
“We’re having a patio that is being done where people can sit,” said Debbie Huscher, marketing coordinator for the fair, adding that a fundraiser for the project gives people an opportunity to purchase personalized bricks to be included in the patio construction.
Conway said the tribute “provides permanence to the event.”
Huscher said that the fair is “one of the largest, all volunteer fairs” in the country.
This year, there could be as many as 1,700 volunteers doing their part.
Huscher said the fair association expects about 200,000 people at the fair each year, and the anniversary turnout could be even greater.
Some $100,000 in prize money is expected to be awarded to exhibitors. Huscher said there will be “special categories” to commemorate the centennial.
Entertainment for the 100th fair includes Little River Band on Friday, Big & Rich on Saturday and Connecticut talents Braiden Sunshine and Presley & Taylor on Sunday.
In order to create excitement for the fair, Huscher said volunteers will visit area towns handing out tickets as part of a “Random Acts of Tickets” initiative.
Despite all that’s going on, there’s one surprise that Huscher is most excited about.
“We wanted to have something like a fireworks show or something, but there are some logistics with the town, and we have animals, so we wanted to be respectful of all of that,” said Huscher. “So we’re actually going to have a big laser show. That’s going to happen Friday and Saturday night on the center stage.”
Said Conway, “This has been such a long time coming because we’ve been working on it for these last three years. I’m excited to see it all come together.”