Markham Fair is an annual event hosted by the Markham, Ontario and East York agricultural society. Established in 1844, originally agricultural societies would meet on a regular basis to discuss various concepts of agricultural improvement such as livestock development and increased grain yields. Often the society would collectively purchase a bull or seed grain, which would be made available to members only. The fall fair would then be an opportunity for the farmers to compete by showing off the fruits of their labour. Due to increased technology and rapid communication, agricultural societies no longer find it necessary to provide this service. The Markham Fair continues to create the forum known as the fall fair.
Markham Fair is one of Canada oldest country fairs. Since 1844 the fair has been providing the community with a showcase for talents and products in a friendly competitive spirit. With over 700 volunteers working on more than 70 committees, Markham Fair is the largest community based volunteer organization in Canada.
Markham Fair occurs annually on the weekend before Canadian Thanksgiving, and hosts upwards of 80,000 attendees. Approximately 3,000 exhibitors will enter more than 12,000 items, which will be judged and put on display during the fair. Promoting excellence through competition in this way, is what makes fairs unique in comparison to other events.
As well as the competitive displays, the community is further brought together to enjoy various forms of entertainment such as horse pull, demolition derby, tractor pull, midway rides and displays of farm animals.
The fairgrounds are located in northern Markham at McCowan Road and Elgin Mills Road, but it first held at the site of the Markham Village Library at southeast corner of Markham Road and Highway 7.