Above is photo of the crowd at William King’s fair in Minneapolis in 1878. William King held the 1877 Minnesota State Fair at these fairgrounds in the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis. It was the most financially successful State Fair to date.
It was so successful that King resigned from the Minnesota State Agricultural Society and staged his own fair in 1878 to compete with the official State Fair in St. Paul. He held competing expositions through 1882. The King’s fairs included a large agricultural hall, horse races and a hot air balloon that was supposed to travel to Boston or New York depending upon the wind direction, it deflated 7 miles later in a Ramsey County cow pasture.
King’s Fair is remembered biannually by the Seward Neighborhood group. The next King’s Fair celebration is on September 17th.
The Minnesota State Fair was held in St. Paul in 1871-1877 and 1878-1879. It was also in Rochester (1866-1869, 1880-1882), Winona (1870) and Owatonna (1883, 1884) before settling into it’s permanent location in 1885.