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For well over 100 years, the Racine County Fair has been a place for family and friends to celebrate agriculture in Racine County. For the last century, the fair has resided at the Racine County Fairgrounds, located at 19805 Durand Ave., in Union Grove.

Prior to making this the permanent location, the fair operated at different facilities in Racine County. You can learn about the history that dates back to the 1850s by visiting the fair’s website. While the fair has been thriving in the community for ages, this 100th anniversary marks a special time for those involved in 4H programs. 4H programs in Racine County offer a variety of hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement.

The 100th anniversary and fair will take place July 27 through 31. It will be an opportunity for 4H members to showcase their hard work and for community members to enjoy events like truck and tractor pulls.

More than a 4-day event

While this is only a 4-day event, 4H Leader and former member Mary Knapp is hoping to create a photo memorial to reflect on the past 100 years of the 4H Horse Project. Knapp is committed to the project and hopes to receive photo submissions from the past that showcase others’ involvement with this segment of the fair.

4H Horse Project

For those unaware, the 4H horse project offers education on a variety of topics including:

  • Breed identification
  • Groundwork and tacking
  • Understanding horse behavior and safety
  • Riding skills, including trail riding
  • Health Care, planning and budgeting for owning a horse
Iris with Abby the 25-year-old Arabian Mare who will be shown at the racine county fair this year. – Credit: Mary Knapp

Knapp shares, “4H is great for the youth because it teaches them responsibility, leadership skills, how to work together.” She explains that the organization teaches children “how to deal with the let downs too. When you do like the animal project, sometimes your animals don’t make it all the way until the fair.” While an unfortunate reality, she says, “they’re learning a lot about just life and how to work together.”

Family Ties

For many, the Racine County Fair is about more than the carnival games and fair food. Knapp began her involvement in 4H in 1997. Two years later, in 1999, she started the 4H Horse Project. However, her roots go back further than her involvement. Her mother, Ruth Teeter, and uncle, Henry Teeter, were both members of 4H in the 1980s. Knapp and her mother even started and developed two 4H clubs within Racine County.

Iris and Ian Knapp with their chickens that will be shown at the Racine County Fair. – Credit: Mary Knapp

That’s not all, Knapp’s husband, Cory, and his siblings were also involved as children. His mother, Gail Knapp, also belonged to 4H. She was a horse leader for over 30 years in Raymond. Now he and his wife support their two children at the fair. Ian (7 years old) and Iris (10 years old) are continuing on the legacy of their family members this year at the 100th anniversary of the Racine County Fair.

Due to age restrictions, Ian is involved in the Cloverbud Project, also known as “Cloverbuds,” which is a project that’s designed to meet the needs of children in 5K–2nd grade. While Ian will show in Cloverbuds, Iris will be showing in the regular 4H program in photography, foods & nutrition, crocheting, Legos, poetry, and the educational horse project.

In addition, Knapp’s horse will be present at the fair. “Abby” will be making a comeback at the fair all week. The 25-year-old Arabian Mare was shown from 2007 to 2010 by different children involved with 4H. This year she will not be shown by the Knapp kids, but by another member in the Raymond 4H organization at the Racine County Fair.

Photo Submissions needed

Just like the Teeter and Knapp families, the Racine County Fair holds special memories and shapes the lives of many community members. If you have been involved with the 4H Horse Project, please share your memories by submitting photos to the 4H Horse Project.

If you are someone who is interested in sending a photo of yourself or your loved one with your horse, please email it to Mary Knapp at by July 15, if possible. In the subject line, include “100 years of the Horse Project” so that your photo submission is included in the photo memorial that will be on display at the Racine County Fairgrounds.

Photo submissions will be put to excellent use preserving the history of the rich 4H Horse Program at the Racine County Fair. – Credit: Mary Knapp

Racine County Fair Information

Learn more about the fair by visiting the website. Interested in knowing what’s on the schedule? Check out the daily activities that will be taking place at the special 100th anniversary of the Racine County Fair in its permanent location. Details about the carnival, grandstand entertainment, fair royalty, and the center stage can be found online.

Plan your visit and enjoy what this event has to offer.


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