2012 actually marks the 50th Anniversary thanks to one man's idea and perfect timing

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Correction:  Mrs. McDonald contacted us this morning and the 2012 Youth Fair wil be the 50th anniversary.

New Haven, Mo – The New Haven Youth Fair is less than two weeks away, but have you ever wondered when the first youth fair was held or where the idea came from?

In 1988, an article was published in the New Haven Leader, which was locally owned at the time, entitled “First New Haven Youth Fair was held 25 years ago.”

The idea of having a youth fair came from one man, Herb Fallert.  Fallert managed the MFA Co-op and had been elected president of the Jaycees.  “He wanted that organization to be as hot as the weather.”  One afternoon Fallert stopped by the Leader office not knowing everything was about to fall into place.

“He [Fallert] walked into the office where Jaycee treasurer Larry Scheer and secretary Bill Raff were working.  Jaycee vice-president Warren Bauche was visiting and another board member, Walter Willimann, who had a downtown grocery store was also in the office.  Board member Don Kappelmann slipped down during a lunch break from the hat factory.  Fallert said, “Let’s have a youth fair.”  A quick phone call went out to board member Tom McDonald at Scheer-Mac’s Shell Station.  He agreed and the planning began.”

In the first ever youth fair Don Kappelmann was in charge of judging the beef and dairy cows but when Kapplemann looked around and realized the numbers, he said, “That’s too much for me” as he scrambled off looking for a second judge.  Thirty minutes later he returned with a partner and the judging began.

During the past 49 years the youth fair has grown by adding a Queen Contest, Tractor Pull, and a large variety of games and events for people to participate in.

Fallert and the six men who helped make his idea a reality probably never imagined that 49 years later the youth fair would become part of a New Haven Tradition.

Since 1963 one thing remains the same, the fair continues to be organized by volunteers.