By Betsy Thorpe
In 1849 the United States first official state fair took place in Detroit Michigan. In 1869, the first Tennessee State Fair was held in Nashville at the Old Fairgrounds and Race Track located at the end of the West End Avenue near the Belle Meade Plantation. In 1906 the State Fair moved to its current location on Smith Avenue.
Originally state fairs provided a venue for the competitive exhibition of livestock handicrafts, baked goods, jams and jellies and local agriculture and produce. State fairs have since expanded to include carnival midways, auto races and concerts. This year the Tennessee State Fair is expected to attract more 230,000 visitors and will feature a variety of educational and entertaining exhibits and competitions.
This year the Tennessee State Fair will host the Festival of The Nations, a one day special event that will take place on September 12. Throughout the day The Festival of The Nations will celebrate more than 40 world cultures through dance, art, food, music and language. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in live demonstrations, concerts, and a celebratory parade.
Another new feature of this years fair, The Green Energy Expo, will offer families tips on how to make their world a little greener through repurposing, reusing, recycling and conservation.
The focus of the 2009 Tennessee State Fair is geared toward honoring the world around us,celebrating family and making lasting memories. The fairgrounds are located in Nashville at 625 Smith Avenue. This year fair parking is free, all day everyday.