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. The first country fair consisted of a joint community church service and fellowship. Since then the event has expanded to become one of the finest craft fairs. 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 cornhusk 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. Men can enter nail driving or cross-cut sawing contests; and women can enter apple pie baking.
Gospel music is performed on Saturday evening, and country and bluegrass is played at other times. County fare, such as apple dumplings and corn on the cob provide sustenance.