The official birth of the Kern County Agricultural Fair was on August 5, 1916. It was located on 106 acres at Chester Avenue, two blocks north of 34th Street and just south of the Kern River Bridge. There were no buildings at that time so they used tents. The Kern County Museum and Clock Tower now stand in that location.
The Kern County Fair held on October 6, 1925 had 20,000 county school children and a total of 65,000 individuals pass through the gates for the six day fair. Governor's Day was October 8th, with festivities centered on Governor Richardson. Governor Richardson was unable to attend due to the sudden illness of his daughter.
Some of the activities held during 1925 included parachute jumps, aerialists, a balloon ascension, motorcycle races and a 15 mile sweepstakes race.
The Sixth Annual Kern County Fair opened on September 24, 1930 opening at 11' clock. A big parade, headed by Captain Leslie S. Robinson as our grand marshal, formed an escort of honor for the day's principle guest, Mayor James Rolph Jr. of San Francisco, Republican nominee for governorship of California. The parade started at City Hall to the Fairgrounds. The opening was simple after giving a speech Mayor Rolph threw the latch to the main gates open.
There were 14 community exhibits, 112 Kern County school exhibits, and 100 individual commercial exhibitors. The first prize for the Best Community Exhibit went to McFarland Farm Center and was chosen to represent Kern County at the 1931 State Fair. It was also the Fair's first oil and mineral exhibit that year.
Later during the Depression in the 1930's there was no Fair held for two years. Then in 1952 the Fair was moved from the North Chester location to the present grounds.
In 1952 the Fair was a 5 day event, in 1956 was extended to 7 days, 1967 was extended to 9 days, 1977 was extended to 10 days, 1979 to 11 days, and starting in 1983 the Fair was extended to 12 days.
The 15th District Agricultural Association known as the Kern County Fair consists of 160 acres, 4 large exhibit buildings, auction barn, sheep and swine show rings, grandstand arena, north arena, horse stalls, outdoor theater and a large well-groomed outdoor display area. The grounds are maintained all year long with blooming flowers and various large trees and shrubs. The parking lots surrounding the grounds can accommodate 7,000 vehicles. The grounds also are set up for recreational vehicle camping along with shower facilities.
In 1987 the Kern County Fair added Satellite Watch and Wager Racing, The building being used is the Albert S. Goode Auditorium. One of the big highlights of horse racing is the Kentucky Derby.