ABOUT

HAMILTON COUNTY 4-H FAIRGROUNDS & EVENT CENTER

The Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center serves many purposes in the community, providing Purdue Extension programming for all ages as well as hosting more than 800 events annually from club meetings to weddings including the annual Hamilton County 4-H Fair.

In addition, the Fairgrounds is the designated Hamilton County disaster emergency center, a public safety training site for first responders, and an official voting location for Hamilton County residents.

OUR HISTORY

John F. Haines, Hamilton County Superintendent of Schools, organized the earliest Indiana Boys Corn Club meeting of record in 1904. That organization, and those initial 93 participants, set in motion what was to become the first 4-H group in Indiana and ultimately the Hamilton County 4-H. By the mid-1930s, the 4-H Fairs were held in the city streets of Noblesville as well as in the Sheridan Park, Walnut Grove, and Westfield. The Fair was held in Forest Park from 1936-37.

In 1948, with nearly 50 “4-H Clubs” throughout Hamilton County, the 4-H Fair moved to its present location on Pleasant Street in Noblesville. Initially, two acres of land were donated by Monte Jessup; the Hamilton County 4-H Council members purchased an additional 12 acres and raised more than $40,000 to construct the swine and cattle barns (now known as the sheep and small animal barns). In 1951, a home economics building opened, later renamed to honor O.V. Winks. The Show Arena was built in 1957 and the first Hamilton County 4-H Queen Contest was held in 1961.

The current site was owned and operated by the 4-H Council until it was deeded to the Hamilton County Commissioners in 1996 when they built the current exhibition center and other fairground improvements. In 2016, the Hamilton County Extension Board established a Life Sciences Team to explore the future programming needs of youth, adults, and partners and then consider a physical plan to support them. Stakeholders were invited to meetings to share ideas.

Using the input from these stakeholders and in collaboration with Hamilton County Tourism staff, the team visited various sites around the state and identified the need for more classrooms, event spaces, and year-round facilities. That input, along with an assessment for the viability of the current site brings us to The Silos@37: Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds and Events Center. This vision of a “fairgrounds for the future” honors the county’s agricultural heritage while creating a modern learning and meeting space for Extension programming and other community needs as well as an updated venue for small- to mid-size conventions, meetings, and other private events.

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