Come on down to The Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds! Hundreds of thousands gather here every summer for the Mississippi Valley Fair, one of the largest celebrations in the Quad Cities.
In addition to its summertime pinnacle event, the fairgrounds host countless other year-round events and parties in its state-of-the-art facilities, including:
Contact us today to learn more about hosting your next event at The Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds! Don’t miss out on the American way to play, start planning today!
Monday – Friday (year-round),
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
7:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
All items carried in including bags, blankets, sleeping bags and similar items are subject to search when entering the grounds. A list of prohibited items includes, but is not limited to: aerosolcans, alcoholic beverages, bottles, cans, containers, coolers of any style, beverage containers, glass containers, illegal substances, laser pointers, fireworks or missile like objects, noise-making devices, bells, bullhorns, whistles and other items, projectiles of any style, sticks, bats, poles, clubs, video/movie cameras, weapons, guns, knives, mace, handcuffs, knight sticks, blackjacks, and all food products. The Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds Management may use their judgement and search other items that may pose a safety hazard or diminish the enjoyment of other fans at our events.
Shawn Loter, General Manager
Vicky Speth, Office Manager
Kelly Howes, Accountant
Dr. James Berger DVM, President
Jon Lafrenz,1st Vice President
Roger Friederichs, 2nd Vice President
Dan Bernick, Treasurer
Dr. Doug Dvorak M.D.
Founded in 1920 on the faith, enthusiasm, cooperation, and united efforts of the first Board of Directors, the Fair was created for the further advancement of livestock, agricultural, industrial, and educational interest of all mankind. This dedication has remained throughout the years with the succeeding board members. A drive for stockholders in 1920 to bring life to the organization resulted in 1257 individuals and commercial firms who donated to this project. Plagued by financial problems, the originating corporation lost control of the fair property about the time of World War II.
There were no fairs held from 1942-44, and in 1945 was undertaken, spearheaded by Neff Wells. Once again, the community rallied to the fair cause and a fund was fully subscribed by the public citizens and commercial firms. In the legal procedures involved, however, a corporate entity, organized for profit, outbid the Association and took the title, intent of converting the fairgrounds into an amusement park. Determined to revive the Association, Neff Wells and his associates negotiated a three-year lease from Mississippi Valley Amusement Company who now owned the property. After several years of negotiations, the option was given to the Mississippi Valley Fair, Inc., a non-profit corporation, to purchase the property. An issue of first mortgage bonds was made to 362 firms and individuals and the Fair Association acquired the property once again. To date, the mortgage debt has been retired.
Construction of the buildings began for the opening of the 1920 fair. During this time the grandstand, twin towers, Starlite, restrooms to the north of the Starlite, and a bandstand which has been converted to the Heritage House were constructed. In 1928 a cattle barn was constructed. The girls 4-H building originally constructed as a poultry barn in 1931. Two more barns were also built-in 1931. Old#9 Schoolhouse was brought to the grounds 1972. The Claussen Memorial Building was constructed in 1981. A restroom addition was made to the 4-H building in 1989. Construction of the Pavilion was completed for the opening of the 1990 fair. A permanent stage was added to the grandstand. The HAVLife garden was created next to the Starlite. A new 30,000 Fair Center was constructed in 2011 and The Iowa building, a 20,000 square foot building was built in 2014. Some additional property was purchased along Lincoln Avenue for fair parking. The Grandstand and twin towers were remodeled to commemorate the 100th Fair in 2019.
The Great Mississippi Valley Fair is today dedicated to reflecting the interests of all society within its area of influence, providing competitive classifications of educational value for agricultural pursuits as well as for home arts and leisure time. It’s volunteer board consists of 17 members and now focuses on interim events year-round as well as the annual fair.