The idea for the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter came about after visiting the Junior Hog Market Show in Macon in 1983. Representative Larry Walker felt the agricultural youth of Georgia deserved better facilities to show their livestock projects.
Later that same year, GA State Rep. Henry L. Reaves called a meeting of youth, civic and political leaders… Those in attendance included:
• Rep. Reaves • Rep. Larry Walker • Robert Nash • Jack Smith
• Bobby Rowan • Dr. M.K. Cook
Rep. Reaves was named to head up a task force to determine the feasibility of establishing a new state wide youth and agricultural show facility
Dr. Cook’s Committee determined that developing such a center was both desirable and practical
Rep. Reaves, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, estimated the project at $15 million – The completed project actually cost $25 million.
- In the beginning 18 communities asked to be considered as site for the facility
- From Henry County in the north to Tifton & Albany in the south
- Perry and Macon were the final two sites considered
- Perry won the vote in a 7–2 victory!
- Once selected, the City of Perry and Houston County bought 628.1 acres along I-75
- They each paid $575,000 for the property and deeded it to the State of Georgia
On July 1, 1985 legislation passed creating the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority. The Committee was led by Chairman Gene Sutherland and Mr. Foster Rhodes.
The main objectives were:
• To provide a facility for youth organizations to exhibit, learn and compete
• To provide a facility where agricultural organizations could stage presentations, promotions, and exhibits
• To establish a state-owned, statewide agricultural fair
• To develop a facility that would generate revenue and benefit state economy
The state of Georgia established the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority to:
- Showcase Georgia’s agriculture/agribusiness
- to promote the agricultural achievements of Georgia’s young people
- to provide a center for diverse activities to benefit the state’s economy
- and to stage and promote a statewide fair to accomplish one or more of the above
Our vision is to constantly earn our reputation as one of the world’s foremost agricultural fairs, and a first-class venue for competitions, conventions, entertainment, exhibitions, expositions, meetings, trade shows, and related events. Everyday, we exen1plify our steadfast commitlnent to excellence in our expertise, efficiency, and quality of service.
Our vision is to lead our industry through innovation; to operate ethically; to satisfy our customer’s expectations with motivated, service-oriented employees; to provide a safe, clean, family-oriented environment; and to foster both the personal and professional growth of our people.
We make our customers our focus. We take pride in providing uncompromising customer service to our guests and patrons. We sttive constantly to improve productivity arid to promote the best interests of the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter.
The Georgia National Fair has won over 100 IAFE Awards. (International Association of Fairs and Expositions)
The Georgia National Fair has also been in the Top 20 Event In The Southeast For The Month of October, 15 times.
Voted a Top 50 Fair in the United States 10 times
The first annual Georgia National Fair was October 5-13, 1990. The theme: Georgia Magic
Reaves Arena concerts that year were:
• Lee Greenwood
• Ray Stephens
• Jerry Clower
• The Temptations
• Billy Joe Royal
• Tanya Tucker
Free Entertainment included:
• Budweiser Clydesdale Horses
• Pattie Cake the Clown
• Bill Clary, Magician & illusionist
• Fred Wynn’s Petting Zoo
• Bert Dierkes, accordionist
• Middle Earth Storytelling Theatre
• Robinson’s Racing Pigs
Notice anything missing?
The first fair had a clock tower with no clock. During the building process, funds were short so they cut the clocks for the tower.
Thanks to Speaker Murphy and Legislative Budget Officer Robert Hobbs, funds were allocated for the clocks to be added to the tower.
Robinson’s Racing Pigs have been a part of EVERY Fair!
Ribbons are what it’s all about…
Reithoffer has been our Midway partner from the very beginning!