McHenry County Fair
Marlowe Feed & Hatchery Booth, 1969 From left: Henry Marlowe; Fran Donahue, Huntley, 4-H Queen; and Helen Marlowe. Don Peasley Photo Collection
In 1946 Township Supervisor A.B. McConnell and Farm Advisor Bill Tammeus, along with Harold Beth - then vice president of the First National Bank of Woodstock, resolved to revive the County Fair. They persuaded the county to lease the fairgrounds to 4-H to hold their activities. A carnival was added to the fairgrounds in 1948. That same year a committee was formed with the idea of making the fair a series of events primarily for the youth with adult participation in the horse show.
The first of the renewed fairs was held in 1948 and featured the 4-H show on Friday. A Fair Queen contest was also held to draw a crown on opening night. Two 100 foot tents were constructed on the fairgrounds for exhibits which featured agricultural and garden products, soil improvement, electricity, and foresty. The next year the FFA began holding events in conjunction with the fair, and a fourth day was added. In 1951 ten more acres east of the fairgrounds were bought. The fair continued to grow with the addition of 13 buildings by the mid-1960's. The talent show started in 1965 and by 1970 the fair spanned five full days.