More than 80 years after the first Wicomico Farm & Home Show, the Wicomico County Fair continues to celebrate these traditions each August at WinterPlace Park. The Wicomico County Fair was created in 2015, bringing together features of the Wicomico Farm & Home Show and the Delmarva Chicken Festival.
The Wicomico Farm & Home Show came to be in 1936. The event was founded by Mildred and Harry Banks, Howard and Mary Humphreys, Ethel and Irving Guy, Charles Wright, and other local farmers and businesses. They wanted to compete and show off their achievements in baked goods, canned goods, woodworking projects, produce and livestock.
The Wicomico Farm & Home Show was held in several different locations prior to finding its current home. There were a couple interruptions in the event. In 1942, the show would have been held at the old Armory, where the Wicomico Public Library is now, but the United States needed that space because of World War II. There was also a two-or-three-year break when the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center, a later location for the show, suffered a fire and had to be rebuilt.
Many of the original exhibits remain, along with new ones like artwork, photography and handwork of all types. The Delmarva Chicken Festival, which ended in 2014, was sponsored by Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., a local trade association. During its 65 years, the Delmarva Chicken Festival was held in various communities on the peninsula.
The giant fry pan, which is still part of the Wicomico County Fair today, made its first appearance in 1951. The festival changed over the years, at times featuring activities including Chicken Capers, a carnival, a Little Miss and Miss Poultry Princess and a chicken cooking contest. Live entertainment became an important part of the festival, and that continues through the Wicomico County Fair.
Delmarva Poultry Industry decided to end the festival, and in August 2014, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Board was granted naming rights for the event.
In early 2015, the Wicomico Farm & Home Show and the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce came together to create the Wicomico County Fair. By joining forces, the Wicomico Farm & Home Show was able to attract and educate a broader audience, and the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce was able to help promote agriculture and the poultry industry.
In 2018, the Wicomico Farm & Home Show partnered with Wicomico County to present the Wicomico County Fair. Today, the Fair includes livestock exhibits, the 5-foot fry pan, home arts, auctions, music, local vendors, rides and competitions. Admission and parking are free.