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The O’Brien County Stock Show & Agricultural Association was formed in 1924. From 1924 to 1951, the O’Brien Co. Fair was moved from city to city within the county. In 1951, the City of Primghar agreed to purchase land on the east side of town, and three livestock buildings were constructed for $6,900. The cost was held down due to much of the labor being done by volunteer businessmen from Primghar. A total of eight buildings were built by the year 1960.

In the late 1980s, construction began on additional buildings, including a new office/administration building, a poultry and rabbit building, and a horse barn. During the 2010s, the Open Class Building and Wayne Maass Memorial Stage were added to the west side of the fairgrounds. The Fair Board has recently been busy with plans to renovate the Show Ring for 2024, with construction starting in 2023. When major construction isn’t occurring on the fairgrounds, the fair tackles smaller construction projects. Smaller construction projects that have taken place over the years include remodeling the scale house, replacing the oversized doors with roll-up “garage” doors, and adding an air conditioning unit to the Open Class Building. The “master gardeners” head up the landscaping projects.

Some attractions in the fair’s early years were a tractor rodeo, a tractor pull in 1960, and our first demolition derby in 1969. In 1972, the first Figure 8 races were held at the fairgrounds, with the Primghar Jaycees beginning to operate the races in 1974. Today, the Figure 8 Races are still a popular summer attraction, with races taking place throughout the summer and two races during the fair. The races during the fair are traditionally the best-attended races of the summer, with many fairgoers, exhibitors, and their families attending.

Over the years, the fair board has sought out other evening entertainment, finding success with the 4-H “Ag Olympics,” a children’s “Tractor Pedal Pull,” and many musical acts, including “Pure Emotion,” “The Interstate Cruisers,”  “Casey Muessigmann,” and a cappella group “Home Free.”

The O’Brien County Fair is an “ag-based” fair, sponsoring its youth in their 4-H and FFA livestock exhibits, non-livestock projects, entertainment with “Share the Fun” acts, and educational demonstrations. Today, about 150 4-H/FFA members exhibit 950 livestock projects and 600 non-livestock projects. The open class crafts are also growing in popularity.

The O’Brien County board members are proud to provide this free fair to the community and county residents with the support of the O’Brien County supervisors and the State of Iowa, continuing to promote the talents of our youth and instilling the value of their family’s farm business and local agriculture.

O’Brien County Fair Board Members

Darwin Gaudian – President Kevin Mars – Vice President
Kim Rons – Treasurer Jan Gaudian – Secretary
John Westra – Dairy Superintendent Gordon Wittrock – Poultry Superintendent
Todd Fuller– Bottle/Bucket Superintendent Mark Shriver – Bottle/Bucket Superintendent
Brent McDowell – Swine Superintendent Justin Steinkamp – Swine Superintendent
Michael Wagner – Swine Superintendent Doug Koehlmoos – Commercial Exhibit Department
Mark Dodge – Sheep & Goat Superintendent Dudley McDowell – Sheep & Goat Superintendent
Brian Fritz – Advanced Cattle Superintendent Colton Gable – Beef Superintendent
Dave Stoll– Horse Superintendent Jeremy & Sandy Sauer – Horse Superintendents
Mike Meyer– Caledonia Ramblers 4-H Club Leader Jason Noteboom