The structure of the Shelby County Fair is somewhat unique compared to other surrounding county fairs, in that most of those fairs are funded by local government. The Shelby County Agriculture and Mechanical Association was officially put in place in 1860 after a local group of farmers held the first Shelby County Fair on October 1, 1842. The fair has run continuously except for three years; the Civil War 1862, The Great Depression 1933, and World War II 1942. Originally the organization was controlled by approximately 242 stockholders who had a vision to develop an area for community events. In later years, this was changed to a nonprofit 501 (C) (3) organization and the stockholders became members of the organization. The membership elects the volunteer board to maintain, manage and operate the property.
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