This popular annual festival, which attracts 100,000 visitors, began in 1973 by the Grabill Chamber of Commerce. Grabill is a quaint town of about 1,000 people, just north of Fort Wayne, Indiana nestled in the heart of a large Amish community. The town’s country-style fair highlights the area’s Amish heritage.
Held on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday after Labor Day, the fair encompasses streets lined with tents and canopies, which shelter 130 craft booths. Among crafts are those that showcase the natural beauty of wood, which include shelves, frames, and board games; other works highlight needlepoint, knitting and crocheting projects. Dolls, ceramic villages, blown glass objects, lampshades, and whirlybirds are also among craft items offered.
Also crafts of a bygone era are demonstrated, such as the use of the spinning wheel, or making corn husk dolls, or horseshoeing. Activities and contests run nonstop. Children can participate in a spelling bee, or old-fashion contests, which include frog jumping, a baby crawl, jump rope, apple peeling, watermelon eating, and cherry pit spitting.
The main stage features gospel, country, or bluegrass music each evening, along with various acts performing on the Mime Time stage or strolling through the fair.
A wide variety of food vendors provide scrumptious delights ranging from old country fare such as corn on the cob, apple dumplings, and beans & cornbread, to modern delights like deep-fried cheese curds, cotton candy, and chocolate covered cheesecake.