New Hampshire’s Long Love-Hate Relationship with Its Agricultural Fairs

07Oct2020

At Lee Public Library via Zoom

New Hampshire’s Long Love-Hate Relationship with Its Agricultural Fairs

 

A VIRTUAL PROGRAM Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 7:00pm

The first agricultural fair in North America was held in what is now Londonderry in 1722, and it would be-come a wildly popular event lasting for generations until it came to be so dominated by gambling, flim-flam, and other "scandalous dimensions" that the legislature revoked its charter in 1850. But fairs have always had strong supporters and eventually the state came around to appropriating modest sums to help them succeed. Temperance groups and others would continue to attack the fairs on moral grounds and their close connection to horse racing was a chronic flashpoint. Steve Taylor will discuss the ups and downs of the fairs down through years and how public affection for rural traditions helps them survive in contemporary times.
Presented by Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor is an independent scholar, farmer, journalist, and longtime public official. With his sons, Taylor operates a dairy, maple syrup, and cheese making enterprise in Meriden Village. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor, and served for 25 years as New Hampshire’s commissioner of agriculture. Taylor was the founding executive director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council and is a lifelong student of the state's rural culture.
Program brought to you by the New Hampshire Humanities Council, the Lee Public Library and the Lee Historical Society.

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