About The Fair

History | MissionBoard of Directors

Our Humble Thanks | Distinguished Service Award


The Tennessee State Fair returns to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville. The 2014 theme is “Let the Good Times Grow.” The theme celebrates the growth the fair has experienced in recent years and the hope of an even brighter future. The fair experienced a 3% increase in attendance from 2012 to 2013 with overall attendance topping 107,000. Plans for the 2014 fair are underway so don’t miss out on your opportunity to be involved!

Tennessee is experiencing a time of growth unlike any other time in the past 100 years. Residents from all over the state flock to Nashville during the ten days of the fair for fun, entertainment, food, livestock events, and field trips.

The Tennessee State Fair is managed by the Tennessee State Fair Association, a public-private partnership dedicated to the promotion and education of agriculture, horticulture, creative arts, performing arts, industry, commerce, recreation, economic development, natural resources and related areas, to the public through the annual Tennessee State Fair.


The Tennessee State Fair Association was formed to promote the education of agriculture, horticulture, the creative arts, performing arts, industry, commerce, recreation, economic development, natural resources, and related areas to the public, through the planning, promotion, conduct, and operation of an annual Tennessee State Fair.


The Tennessee State Fair has been held every year since 1906, with the exception of a four-year span during World War II. The fair has weathered many storms including the Great Depression, a 1965 fire that destroyed majority of the fairgrounds and another fire in 1970, which ruined the coliseum. Through these hardships, the Tennessee State Fair has remained the highlight of families’ lives for more than 100 years.

Every year, Tennesseans anticipate the thrilling rides at the Midway, the wide variety of competitions, and the staple fair foods such as cotton candy, corn dogs and snow cones. Tennessee students especially look forward to the arrival of the fair because of the designated student day, which offers free admission and a day off from school.

Entertainment is a key component to the Tennessee State Fair and is a big draw for fair goers. Over the years, the state fair has included some of the most popular performers of the time. Even as late as the 1970s, some of the biggest acts in the country, such as Sonny and Cher, Captain and Tenille, ZZ Top, Dr. Hook, Marilyn McCoo, and comedian Bob Hope performed the Tennessee State Fair.

Today, the Tennessee State Fair attracts more than 100,000 visitors and participants each year, with recent trends showing a steady growth in popularity.

>> Learn more about the Tennessee State Fair’s history.

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Board of Directors


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Our Humble Thanks

The Tennessee State Fair Association would like to acknowledge all the state and local agencies and educational institutions for their participation and support of the 2012 Tennessee State Fair, including but not limited to:

In addition we’d like to thank…

  • The many dedicated volunteers
  • Our loyal sponsors and the people who made this event possible
  • Our vendors
  • Our neighbors and neighborhood organizations
  • Metro Nashville Police Department
  • Metro Mounted Patrol
  • The Tennessee Department of Education
  • Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Davidson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Metro Nashville Fire Department
  • North American Midway Entertainment

…and of course, The American farmer.

In Kind Support:

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Past Distinguished Service Award Recipients
2013 – Marvin Gleaves
2012 – Cherry Darken
2011 – Hale Moss, Hermitage, TN
2010 – Judy Basse, Mt. Juliet, TN
2009 – Joe and Millie Wilson, Nashville, TN
2008 – Freddie Burcham, Ashland City, TN
2007 – In Memory of Nora Strasser, Chapel Hill, TN
2006 – John Albright, Nolensville, TN
2005 – Shari Cronkhite, Nashville, TN
2004 – Frances Jackson, Nashville, TN
2003 – Doyle, Max & Bobby Stepp Wartrace, TN
2002 – Bill Coleman, Nashville, TN
2001 – June Thompson, Nashville, TN
2000 – Hershal Ligon, Old Hickory, TN

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