History

The first agriculture exhibit in Buffalo County was not held in a barn. Nor was it held in a Quonset. The very foundation of what we know today to be the Buffalo County Fair began in a Downtown Kearney furniture store in 1875. Five years later, the Buffalo County Agriculture Society was formed. In 1880 the 1st Annual Buffalo County Fair was held in Shelton, approximately twenty miles east and north of Kearney. Four years later, the Buffalo County Agriculture Society decided by a strong majority to move the fair to Kearney. The ground that the Buffalo County Fairgrounds is still on today is the same ground that was purchased back in 1884.

The 4th Annual Buffalo County Fair held at its new site in Kearney had over 3,000 attendees. The Buffalo County Fair has only moved once for a few years since the 4th Annual Buffalo County Fair when a new site was purchased in the late 1880’s. However, in 1893, the Buffalo County Agriculture Society discontinued due to financial problems and in 1913 a new organization, the Buffalo County Agriculture Association, was formed to take over responsibility of the Buffalo County Fairgrounds and moved the fair back to its former location. The Buffalo County Agriculture Association still oversees the fairgrounds’ operations today.

Some of the buildings still standing at Buffalo County Fairgrounds have been around since close to the beginning. These buildings include the Pole Barn, the Stafford Arena, and the Small Animal Buildings. The Buffalo County Fairgrounds has also grown greatly since the beginning. In 1983 the Exhibit Building was built. This building was originally designed to stall cattle but now has a tennis court floor and is used for many purposes including sports, weddings, conferences, banquets, trade shows, etc. The Exhibit Building also contains the fair offices. The original Exposition Building was built in 1990 and the Ag Pavilion was added ten years later.

Sadly, the original Exposition Building was destroyed in the tornado that went through Kearney in the summer of 2008. After the destruction, the Fairboard decided that while construction was already to be done, the Ag Pavilion that was previously only enclosed by chain link fence on two sides would be completely enclosed.  The new Exposition Building was completed in November 2010 complete with up-to-date amenities the previous building lacked. We are blessed to have such a wonderful facility on our grounds!

In 1984, the 51 acres of land that the Buffalo County Fairgrounds sits on was completely surrounded by farm ground and open land. However, Kearney has grown greatly over the last couple decades and the Buffalo County Fairgrounds is now located near a large residential area, Sunrise Middle School, and some still existing farm ground, on the corner of 36th Street and Avenue N.

Buffalo County Fair Performers
The Buffalo County Fair has a reputation of bringing the hottest entertainers to our great county. Anyone ever heard of Toby Keith? How about George Strait? We are extremely proud of the elite line up we have offered in genres ranging from country to pop to rock and everything in between! Some of these entertainers include:

Confederate Railroad
Cheap Trick
Rodney Atkins
Clay Walker
Tracy Bird
Blessed Union of Souls
Collin Raye
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
The Oak Ridge Boys
The Bellamy Brothers
Mark Chesnutt
Pam Tillis
Chris LeDoux
Gibson/Miller Band
Patty Loveless
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Lorrie Morgan
Thompson Square
Jake Owen
Newsboys
Little Big Town

Dierks Bentley
REO Speedwagon
Ty England
Whiplash, the Cowboy Monkey
Weird Al Yankovic & His Bad Hair Band
George Jones
Lisa Brokop
Ronnie McDowell
Billy Dean
Tim Holcomb
Daryle Singletary
James House
Christina Aguilera
Toby Keith
George Straight
The Marshall Tucker Band
The Kentucky Headhunters
My Darkest Days
Kip Moore
Hawk Nelson
Dan+Shay

Faith Hill
Rick Trevino
Sawyer Brown
Leroy Van Dyke
Martina McBride
Kansas
Sons of the Desert
Diamond Rio
Bill Engvall
Ballie and the Boys
Bill Anderson
Jeff Foxworthy
Raven Symone
Ashton Jackson
Craig Morgan
Gary Allan
Morgan Frazier
Alabama
Francesca Battistelli
Red Wanting Blue
Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias