Held annually each February, the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show and Fair we are familiar with originated in the 1940s with the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Market being used as its venue. Interrupted briefly by World War II, the fair and show returned, was incorporated and became an association which continues the tradition of an annual fair and livestock show.
But 100 years ago, on February 19-23, 1918, the second annual Osceola County Fair was held at the County fairgrounds, south of Kissimmee, where Pleasant Hill Elementary is located. Opening day on Tuesday was designated Homecoming Day, welcoming former residents; Wednesday was Farmers’ Day, with premiums awarded on the cattle exhibit. St. Cloud Day was Thursday, with premiums on horses and “fancy turnouts” being presented. And like our current fair, Friday was the day school “kiddies” would turn out “en masse”, marching into the fairgrounds with their teachers to participate in field sports for the day. Cow Boy Day was Saturday, featuring baseball, ¼ mile dash for cow ponies and ¼ mile dash for mules ridden by cow boys from Osceola County. Band concerts along with harness and horse racing were held daily.
Sources: “Kissimmee Valley Gazette” February 1, 1918;www.osceolacountyfair.com
Photo sources: ad is from "Kissimmee Valley Gazette" February 8, 1918
Racetrack is from "Kissimmee A Pictorial History"