"The NJ State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show has played a central role in promoting all of the numerous aspects of agriculture in our community.  Today this event not only provides a forum for showcasing the past aspects of agriculture in our community, but also affords visitors an insight into how agriculture will continue to be one of the central focuses of Sussex County in the future.  Not only this, but the fairgrounds itself have been developed into a beautiful year rounds multipurpose facility which hosts may events at the same time.  This allows countless charitable groups to raise much needed funds to help their causes.  The forefathers of the Fair would be very proud of all the people who are helped in a year's time by the hard work, commitment and dedication of hundreds of volunteers and staff who made this happen." (Wayne McCabe, A Fair to Remember)


1919 - Branchville Businessmen hold a 3-day horse show in September.

1924 - The Sussex County Horse Show begins at Ross’s Corner in Augusta.

1926 - The Sussex County Horse Show moves to Branchville at a private track.

1940 - On April 26, 1940, the Sussex County Farm & Horse Show was incorporated as a non-profit organization with 14 people signing the incorporation papers.

1942-1945 - The Sussex County Farm & Horse Show is not conducted due to World War II.

1955 - The Sussex County Farm & Horse Show suffers its first disaster as Hurricane Connie hits Branchville during the Fair. The officers have to borrow $2000 from the Branchville Bank to pay creditors.

1963 - A committee is formed to find a new site for the fairgrounds. On August 14, 1963, the directors purchased a new site in Augusta, NJ, which includes 126 acres for $55,000.

1970 - Directors show increased interest in moving to, or expanding, the new site.

1973 - $15,000 is spent on the new grounds for making roads and a pond.

1975 - The Fair Association signs a mortgage for $225,000 to start the development of the new fairgrounds in Augusta. This money allows for some land improvement, the building of two restrooms, a well, a horse show ring, and some roads.

1976 - Opening ceremonies for the dedication of the new fairgrounds in August. There is one permanent building, the blue exhibit building.

1976-1998 - Various other permanent buildings, pole barns, and stables are built.

1983 - The Snook Agricultural Museum was built by the Sussex County Agricultural Society and dedicated to the memory of John Snook Jr.

1998 - Funded by donations from local businesses and friends of the Fair, the Administration building was built and dedicated in June. This building united all the various offices under one roof and provided meeting space for various fair groups.

1999 - The Sussex County Farm & Horse Show obtains the additional name of the New Jersey State Fair, which becomes a registered trademark.

2005 - The 1975 bathroom is demolished to make room for a larger new bathroom.  This bathroom was also paid for using donations from the community.

2007 – The 4-H Shotwell building was completed.

2009 - A local businessman and his wife contribute towards a green building called the Conservatory.  This building is used during the Fair for the Flower Show and during the rest of the year for weddings and social events.

2010 - The area behind the Conservatory was redesigned with landscaping and gardens.

2011 - Major improvements were made to the Snook Museum in memory of Barbara Snook.

2014­ The 3-year renovation project on the Richards Building was started.

2020 - The Fair was canceled due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

2021- The Fairgrounds were used as a vaccination site for the COVID-19 vaccine.

2023 - Repairs were completed to the old barn. 


Fair Fun Facts

  • The Fair is run by the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show Association with an executive committee of volunteers. It is a 501 ©3 with no outside funding.
  • Weather permitting, a member of Sussex County Beekeepers goes into a cage of live bees and answers questions from Fairgoers as well as sharing information about bees. There is also a cross-section of a hive in their display with the queen color-coded to make her easier to find.
  • The Carnival, Reithoffer Shows, Inc., comes a week before to set up and are gone to the next fair the day after the Fair closes.
  • New Jersey has the strictest laws in the country governing ride safety. Every ride MUST be licensed by the State and all rides must be inspected and approved to operate prior to opening. They are then re-inspected, unannounced, during the Fair.
  • The Sussex County Horse Show was started first and then consolidated with farm exhibits to make the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show.
  • When the first Fair was held on its permanent grounds on Plains Road in 1976, there was only one building- the Richards Exhibit Building.
  • Number of pig races per Fair: 40+
  • There are two kinds of classes in the livestock shows. Breeding classes judge the animals. Showmanship classes judge the ability of the exhibitor to show the animal to advantage.
  • Garbage is picked up at dawn each morning of the Fair. During the day, garbage is picked up from the grounds and taken outside the fences to wait for the next morning’s pickup.
  • Approximately 200 yards of manure are removed each day.
  • During the Fair, 200+ yards of mulch are used in the Livestock Pavilion.
  • Over 2000 flowers and plants are ordered each early spring for the greenhouse. As these plants mature, they are moved into planters, hanging pots, flower boxes, and gardens around the grounds.
  • Some horse shows and livestock show classes begin as early as 8 a.m.
  • There are less than 8 permanent employees of the Fairgrounds.
  • The Fairgrounds are closed to outside events a week before so vendors and exhibits can set up.
  • Local non-profits use the Fair as a fundraiser.
  • Fair divisions that run shows- Home and Hobby, Honey, Livestock shows, etc.- are planned and staffed by volunteers
  • 2019 Livestock count: Beef Cattle- 193; Poultry- 215; Sheep-267; Rabbits/Cavey- 202; Dairy Cattle- 299; Goats- 273; Swine- 20; Alpaca- 8; Oxen- 2; Horses-545
  • Queen Pageant: Andover Boro, Stanhope, and Walpack have never won the title. Sparta has the most wins with 9. There have been 3 mother/daughter winners and 1 sister team: Pat Gray, Fredon & daughter Whitney Redline, Fredon; Diane Danzer, Branchville & daughter Molly Gill Frankford; Debbie Competielle, Ogdensburg & daughter Kelsey Kistle, Sandyston; sisters Sarah and Kelly Lynch of Fredon
  • The Snook Agricultural Museum’s general store counter sells old-fashioned candy sticks, cartons of milk, and ice cream. Demonstrations of some of the antique tools are done throughout the day.
  • There are approximately 60 4-H clubs in Sussex County. Projects and club booths are in the Shotwell Building.

Princesses in a wagon
Princesses in a wagon Horse jumping Live Honey Bees Carnival workers unloading Watching a pig race Fair mascott