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Georgia State Fair

Georgia State Fair
1500 Tara Pl


The Georgia State Fair in Macon, celebrating its 151st birthday in 2006, has been held consecutively since 1851, with the exception of four years during the War Between the States.While the Fair has been held 150 years in Macon, actually the first Fair was held at Stone Mountain in 1846, under the sponsorship of the Southern Central Agriculture Society. The first Fair there offered premiums of $153.90 and charged ten cents admission. A profit of $104 was made the first Fair, although total receipts were $4,178. In 1850, the Fair had grown so much that it moved to Atlanta, and then in 1851, it came to Macon.The first Fairs in Macon were held on the old fairgrounds just south of Seventh Street which contained Camp Oglethorpe. Following the war, the Fair was held in several alternate locations. In 1871, extensive construction of new buildings and facilities brought the Fair to Central City Park (east of the old fairgrounds on the Ocmulgee River) where it's held to this day.In 1920 or 1921, the Fair was reorganized under the name of the Georgia State Exposition, under which name it operated until 1940, when the Macon Chamber of Commerce bought the corporate stock. The Chamber of Commerce operated the Fair in 1940 and 1941. It has been under the management and operation of the Exchange Club of Macon from 1942 to date. The Macon Exchange Club Fair Association, Inc., acquired the Georgia State Fair from the Macon Chamber of Commerce in 1982 and entered into a contract with the City of Macon for the use of Central City Park for operating this annual event.Through its charity fund, the Exchange Club of Macon had given away its profits to charitable organizations in the local area, amounting to well over $1,700,000. In addition, payments to the City of Macon total over $700,000 and premium payments to exhibitors total over $1,700,000. Thus, from 1942 through 2005, the Exchange Club of Macon has returned to Macon and local area a sum totaling over $4,100,000, through operation of the Georgia State Fair.The citizens of Macon, Bibb County, and the State at large, have contributed to the growth of this Fair and have a tremendous part in continuing the pages of this history.

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