The CUYAHOGA COUNTY FAIR in BEREA has run every summer since 1893 except for 1932 (because of the Depression), 1942, and 1943 (because of World War II). Before that time, fairs were held in several scattered areas throughout the county (see FAIRS AND EXPOSITIONS). Basically, there were 2 main fairs—the one in CHAGRIN FALLS for the east side of the county, and one in various locations surrounding Berea, for the west side. The West Cuyahoga County Fair Society was established in 1893, locating its fairgrounds on the current (1995) site in Berea and MIDDLEBURG HTS., where the fair has remained ever since. Schools closed for the day, and practically all business was suspended for the fair during the first 2 decades of the 1900s. In 1914 the county commissioners decided to leave Chagrin Falls and consolidate the event in Berea. That same year a "night fair" was tried for the first time, and the evening crowds outnumbered the daytime patrons. In 1924 40 acres were added to the grounds, and in 1929 the main entrance was decorated with an ornamental steel arch designed by Fred J. Hartman. Another 18 acres were added to the grounds in Feb. 1950. On 10 Sept. 1931, the West Cuyahoga County Agricultural Society changed its name to the Cuyahoga County Agricultural Society. Over the years the agricultural nature of the fair declined and it took on more of a carnival atmosphere. However, into the 1990s the participation of the 4-H and Future Farmers of America clubs has helped to maintain the agricultural aspect.


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