Big Four Fair to resume; will celebrate 100th anniversary this June

Sharon Drahn
Herald Editor

(Editor’s Note: The 100th anniversary celebration of the Big Four Fair was slated to be held last June; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions the fair was canceled.  This year’s fair is set for June 18-20, with the 100th anniversary to be celebrated with several events.    As the 2021 Big Four Fair approaches, The Herald will be publishing articles about the fair’s history throughout the last century in anticipation of the 100th anniversary celebration. Anyone having information and/or pictures they would like us to include is encouraged to contact editor, Sharon Drahn.)

The Big Four Fair, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in Postville this summer, was awarded the 2019 ‘Blue Ribbon Fair’ Award by the Board of Directors of the Association of Iowa Fairs. The award was presented to the fair’s board of directors at the association’s 2019 conference and annual meeting. The Big Four Fair was chosen to received the award from all the fairs in Association’s Northeast District.

“One member fair in each of the Association’s six fair districts in Iowa is presented this award each year,” said Thomas Barnes, Executive Director of the Association. “The fair that receives this award must have shown progress in providing service  to the youth programs in their community, plus show distinguished service to the community in both the fair and interim events. My wife, Sue, and I have visited the Big Four Fair several times and we found it does, indeed serve the community very well as outlined in the guidelines of this award.”

The Big Four Fair, Postville was established 101 years ago in 1920. Originally established to showcase the champions of the four county area which include Allamakee, Winneshiek, Clayton and Fayette counties with Postville being in the center of the four counties.

With the advent of the sale of champions at the county fairs, the Big Four Fair had to change its mission.

In the mid 1990’s the Big Four Fair switched to a pre-show format. Up until this time, the Big Four fair was a traditional fair complete with commercial exhibits, stage entertainment, a carnival, and youth 4H and FFA projects. Since then the number of 4-H and FFA youth exhibits have increased dramatically. The Big Four Fair Board continues to work with our local community to encompass a broad background base.

Today the mission of the Big Four fair is a preshow to encourage 4H and FFA youth in their development of showmanship skills and to receive pointers on how to improve the quality of their projects for showing at their local fairs.


Big Four Fair includes two nights of live entertainment; no admission fee

Plans continue to be finalized for the 100th anniversary of the Big Four Fair which will be held June 18-20 at the Postville Fairgrounds.

As the Big Four celebrates 100 years, all entertainment and admission to the fairgrounds will be free. Both night’s entertainment will include well known live musical performances.

Friday night’s entertainment is highlighted by the El Caminos.

The Caminos are a four piece cover band that calls LaCrosse, WI their home base. They shift gears smoothly through covers from a wide variety of artists: 70’s, 80’s, 90’s classics, contemporary pop, tried-and-true country classics, and some new country as well.  It’s a show filled with sing-a-long songs, wise-cracks, solid musicianship, and an overall energetic stage performance.

 Saturday evening’s entertainment will be Beau Timmerman followed by xpedition, formerly SFO.   Xpedition is a Journey tribute band. They also play music that is a tribute to Kansas  and Foreigner. Check the fair out on Facebook for updates.  (Big 4 Fair-Postville Ia)

Mark your calendars now for June 18, 19 and 20 as the Big Four Fair’s 100th celebration will have something for everyone.


The Postville Herald

The Postville Herald
101 N. Lawler
Postville, IA 52162
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