Iowa State Fair officials will honor Oskaloosa and Mahaska County tonight (Friday) at the opening of this year’s Southern Iowa Fair. Oskaloosa hosted the fifth and sixth state fairs, back in 1858 and 1859. Southern Iowa Fair secretary Rita Antolik says they’ll award a plaque at the free stage tonight. Antolik says each local fairground that hosted the state fair before its move to Des Moines will get similar recognition. Other towns that once hosted the state fair include Fairfield, where the very first state fair was held in 1854, Iowa City, Dubuque, Burlington, Clinton and Cedar Rapids. The Southern Iowa Fair kicked off this morning and runs through July 28.
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