Walking into the Latah County Events Center, visitors are immediately greeted by a wall covered in vintage photographs and fliers promoting long-past fairs. One flier promises fair-goers “a thousand laughs,” while another pronounces the Latah County Fair to be “a clean-cut, legitimate, fair-and-square deal.” Though 106 years have passed since the first Latah County Fair, it seems the event hasn’t strayed far from these original ideals.
Nowadays, the fair is a four day event, packed with 25 shows, 15 entertainment acts, and 10 different contests. The organizers are working with 75 different vendors, 15 of which will provide the vast array of fair foods that fair-goers have come to love.
The fair has no entrance fees for attendees or exhibitors, which places it among an ever-shrinking pool of free fairs across the country. Fair-goers will be able to save their change for the multiple food booths and vendors, while enjoying top-notch entertainment and a fun weekend out in the community.
Moscow local Claire Wallace has been going to the fair since age 7. For Wallace, the best part of the fair has always been the sense of community.
“It’s a great place to spend time with people,” she said.
Wallace said she also enjoys the musical performances, which are scheduled to include Voodoo City Radio and Will Fontaine & the Vital Signs. In addition to the music, local students can look forward to the carnival rides, games and wide range of exhibitors.
Jim Logan, the Latah County Fairgrounds director, said he considers the food to be one of his favorite parts of the Latah County Fair alongside the wide range of animals being shown. This year more than 300 animals are expected to be shown at the fair, with everything from dogs, rabbits and chickens to sheep, pigs, goats and cattle.
A past 4-H and FFA participant himself, Logan said he remembers well the excitement of going to the fair each year. This is Logan’s second year as the fairgrounds director. He said he attended his first Latah County Fair as a UI student in 2002. At UI, he earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and later a master’s degree in public administration.
Logan encourages everyone to come be a part of this century-old Latah County tradition, inviting new UI students and long-time residents alike to “come out and enjoy four days of food and fun.”
Logan cites a strong sense of community pride as one of the fair’s greatest assets and the reason for its long-term success.
Since 1911 the Latah County Fair has brought the community together for a weekend of fun and celebration through music, food, games and friendly competition. Although Moscow has certainly changed in the century since, the fair still operates on the principles of sportsmanship, hard work and community fun that inspired its creation.
The fair will take place at the Latah County Fairgrounds in Moscow this week:
Sept. 14: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sept. 15: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sept. 16: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sept. 17: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information visit www.latahcountyfair.com
or drop by the Latah County Fair Office at 1021 Harold St. Moscow, ID.
Beth Hoots can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org