"Horses and wagons line the dirt roads of Lubbock - a fledgling city incorporated only five years ago but already boasting a population of approximately 2,000. Farmers gather around the town square, comparing prize pumpkins and sheaves of grain, discussing farming methods and the prospects offered by the wide open spaces in fertile West Texas. Their wives and children mingle nearby, making new friends, swapping home remedies and recipes, playing games - generally in awe of the sights and sounds of "the big city."
That was the scene unfolding nearly a century ago. The Panhandle South Plains Fair was drawing city and country folk together and helping Lubbock earn the nickname "Hub of the Plains" - an improvement over "the city that shouldn't be," as Lubbock was originally called, because of its isolated location and lack of major cross country highway links. The Fair and the city have grown almost simultaneously since those humble beginnings. Today, the Panhandle-South Plains Fair is known as "The Granddaddy of West Texas Fairs," and ranks second only to Dallas's State Fair of Texas in attendance and continuous history.
The first Fair was held in the fall of 1914. There were no fairs held during the World War II years of 1942-45. The annual extravaganza of today bears little resemblance to the first Fair, but one tradition remains firmly intact: the goal of the Fair, which is to strengthen community ties within our region and promote growth and prosperity throughout Lubbock and its surrounding communities.