Interstate Livestock Fairgrounds Photo

Date: c. 1923

 

Description: This is a photo of the grounds of the Interstate Livestock Fair, an agricultural heritage celebration that began in 1903. The fairgrounds were in Woodland Park, which is now part of Riverside Park, and was a major event that brought in farmers and spectators from across the Midwest. In the foreground of this photo, on the right, are three buildings for livestock: sheep, cattle, and pig barns. In the back is the large grandstand with a racetrack that held horse and auto races. Between the barns and the grandstand was a grand, lavishly decorated avenue called the Midway, which held vendors, games, amusement park rides, and other events and activities. On the far left of the picture was once the larger exhibition halls for showing crops and livestock, which have burned down before this photo was taken. The exhibit halls would have shown most of the fairs events, from shows to the homemaking displays.

 

The fair was held from 1903 to 1926, usually during the last week of September each year. Fred Eaton, president of the Sioux City Stock Yards Company, was the man behind the fair, as he wanted a new agricultural festival after the Corn Palace festivals had discontinued. In its heyday the Interstate Livestock Fair had a daily attendance of 10,000 to 45,000. The fairs ceased in 1926 after the death of Fred Eaton. Livestock shows continued at the Sioux City stockyards, and in 1928 the Woodbury County Fair began in Moville. The fairgrounds had a variety of other uses, including a World War I training base, the site of the first airplane flight in Sioux City, a training site for the fire department, and a meeting place for various clubs and organizations around the city. Today the land that the grounds once stood on is part of Riverside Park.

Donor: Siouxland Chamber of Commerce