In May 1981 a group of eager volunteers, rallied by the leadership of the Denver Lions Club, gathered to discuss the possibility of organizing a community fair. From that meeting the Denver Community Fair was born and in September of that year the first annual Denver Community Fair was held.
The first Denver Fair was a two-day event, Friday and Saturday, with a special “sneak preview” on Thursday evening prior to the opening of the Fair. On Friday evening a parade was held. It was followed by the Younger Brothers Band performing from a flatbed truck placed in the Denver Memorial Park. An admission fee was charged at the first Fair.
When planning and organizing the first Fair, the committee was in need of a ride and amusement company. Oscar’s Amusements Co. Inc., from Birdsboro, answered the call and the Denver Fair Committee and Oscar’s have worked together from 1981-2019.
The first Denver Community Fair featured a sheep show, an arts and crafts show, entertainment, contests, seven rides and 22 game and food stands. A special contest was held that year exclusive to the Denver Fair, a turkey chase. Our first Fair was a learning experience, but proved to be a huge success and it was agreed to form the Denver Fair Committee, a sub-committee of the Denver Lions Club. This committee would be comprised of Lions Club members and other community volunteers. Irvin Weaver Jr. was appointed the President of the Denver Fair. Irvy, who was considered the founder of the Denver Fair, was President from 1982-1985. Randy Eshleman served as President from 1985-2004. Dennis Worley has served as president from 2005 to present day.
In 1990 the Denver Fair Committee separated from the Denver Lions Club and became the Denver Fair Committee, Inc., a non-profit corporation. The Denver Fair Committee is a volunteer organization comprised of approximately 50 members.
In 1994 the Denver Fair Committee received a special honor when Miss Denver Fair, Beth Paul of Reamstown, was crowned the Pennsylvania State Fair Queen. Beth represented the State Association of County Fairs and the Denver Fair while visiting many fairs and special functions throughout the state.
The Denver Fair Committee is actively involved in the community. In the past, the Denver Fair has hosted Denver Day and Memorial Day celebrations. Since 1982, the Denver Fair has invested over $225,000 in the Denver Memorial Park – most notably the construction and upkeep of a restroom/office facility and the reconstruction and upgrade to the stage facility. Annual scholarships are awarded to Cocalico High School seniors based on their service to the community.
The Fair has grown tremendously over the years and is now a five-day event, always held the first full week after Labor Day in September. The fair now attracts over 40,000 visitors from across Pennsylvania. The Denver Fair has been a free admission fair since 1983, and includes over 25 amusements rides, 80 food and game concession stands, free entertainment, contests and more.
The Denver Fair continues to grow and evolve but has become a permanent fixture in Denver’s history. The Denver Fair is an opportunity for hundreds of volunteers to come together for one week every year to exhibit and showcase our community.
President -Dennis Worley
Vice-President – John Frantz
Vice-President – Brad Wolf
Vice-President – Matt Mitchell
Secretary – Sandy Reeder
Financial Secretary – Denise Shirker
Board of Directors:
The Denver Fair requires a large amount of volunteers and there is always a need for more! There are many committees and groups to join in support of the Fair. Please contact the Fair office to see where your talents and interests can best be used!