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Agricultural Heritage Celebrated During Annual Event

Contact: Lawrence Ragonese 
(609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna                        
(609) 984-1795
Abbie Tang-Smith
(609) 984-1795
Lynne Richmond (Agriculture)
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – The “Spirit of the Jerseys” State History Fair is celebrating New Jersey’s agricultural heritage in a daylong event to be held at Washington Crossing State Park in Hopewell Township on May 11, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin and Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced today.

More than 170 historic, government and nonprofit entities and organizations are partnering with the DEP and Department of Agriculture. All of the state’s counties will be represented at the fair, which will be held rain or shine from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The award-winning State History Fair gives us a unique day to celebrate our state’s role in this great nation’s history,’’ said Commissioner Martin. “New Jersey’s vital and pivotal role in the founding of our country, and the achievements of its residents, especially when it comes to agriculture, will be on display at the fair.’’  

“All of us can take pride in New Jersey’s rich agricultural history,” said Secretary Fisher. “With our more than 10,000 farms, growing 100 different varieties of fruits and vegetables and providing opportunities for education and fun family farm visits, agriculture remains a vital part of our residents’ way of life.”

Agriculturally-themed events set for the State History Fair this year include: butter churning, beekeeping, corn shelling, cranberry sorting, ice cream making, plowing with draft horses, grinding, and gardening.

Visitors will find many unique attractions, like a first-hand encounter with Mercy Ingraham, an open-hearth cook who will prepare a spring dinner for a Dutch colonial family; Phydeaux’s Flying Flea Circus and Wahoo Medicine Show – a delectable slice of 19th century Americana; and a fair favorite, “Play Ball!” in which the Hoboken Nine square off with the Elizabeth Resolutes in a baseball game using period uniforms, equipment and rules.

There also will be many other free, educational and hands-on activities for people of all ages.

Many activities at the State History Fair can help fulfill badge requirements for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts. Also, the Office of Historic Sites is offering three professional development hours to elementary and secondary school social studies teachers who attend the fair and engage in its historical activities.

In addition to the many nonprofit participants, DEP also is partnering with other state agencies for educational exhibits and promotion, including the Department of Agriculture and the Division of Travel and Tourism.

The Spirit of the Jerseys Fair was first held in 2004 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of New Jersey’s State Historic Sites – a system that began in 1903 with the state’s purchase of Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield. The goal of the fair is to engage the public in discovering the state’s history in a fun and enjoyable manner.

While admission is free, there will be a $5 fee per-vehicle parking donation to help defray the costs of the fair. For more information on the State History Fair, including a full listing of events and directions, please visit,