The Queens County Fair Assoc. Inc. was started in the summer of 1939. Farmers and business people along with Agriculture Department people from the County of Queens held several meetings in Gagetown and as a result, the first Queens County Fair was held on Wednesday, September 27, 1939 commencing at 10:00 a.m. The first site was located in the adjoining fields to the Queens County Court House.
The first executive was elected with Mr. John J. Jackson, Gagetown, N.B., elected President of the Association.
At the September 8, 1939 meeting, the question of cancelling the fair due to the war in Europe arose. It was decided to carry on if at all possible.
Due to the war in Europe, it was decided that a rainy day insurance be put on. The value was to be $300.00 to cover the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and to be put in place at the last possible hour before the date of the fair.
At the June 15, 1940 meeting, it was decided to cancel the fair until the war was over. When the war ceased in 1945, the fair started again and was held on Wednesday, September 12, 1945.
New grounds were secured for the fair; building construction commenced and the fair has continued on to this day.
In 1946, the fair expanded to a two day fair on Wednesday and Thursday. In 1950 it expanded again to a three day fair, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In 1957, it was held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the first time. It was not until 1991 that an additional day was added. It now is a four-day event, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Since the fairs inception in 1939, there have only been nine presidents: Mr. John. J. Jackson, Gagetown, 1939-1948; Mr. J. Arthur VanWart, Hampstead, 1949-1957; Mr. Edward J. McKenzie, Welsford, 1958-1960; Mr. Raymond P. VanWart, Hampstead, 1961-1963; Mr. Lloyd H. Nickerson, Queenstown, 1964-1973; Mr. Maxwell A. Underhill, Gagetown, 1974-1986; Mr. Murray H. Woods, formerly of Gagetown, now of Sussex, 1986-1995; Mr. G. Donald Johnson, Central Hampstead, 1995-2016; Mr. Hazen Underhill 2016.
Throughout the years of operation, the fair has expanded with many different programs, building venues, all in the support of agriculture awareness. It has a full range of interests to meet everyone’s entertainment. Prior to 1953, the fair competition was only open to residents of Queens County; however, since that time the Counties of Kings, Sunbury, Saint John and York Counties in New Brunswick have been added unless specified otherwise. Since the beginning of the fair in 1939, more than 200 people have volunteered their services as directors in operating the fair with a few serving 40 or more years as directors.