Written by EIG Editor: Brandy Truex
People love to know local history. The story about how something started small and grew into the successful organization, company or event that we know, is intriguing.
How did they do it?
Where did they start?
What did they do along the way to make them so successful?
What were times like back then?
We love to look at the old pictures too…
Telling the story of your event or organization on a significant anniversary can result in some great media attention and promotions. If you plan in advance, you can get some great mileage out of a significant milestone – even an entire years’ worth! I was reminded of this great marketing/media relations tip this weekend as I read the history of the South Florida Fair. The Fair is 100 years old this year! What wonderful a reason to celebrate!
Remembering 100 years of the area’s premier fair (By Palm Beach Post, Leslie Streeter)
A hundred years ago, it began under a tent and some trees near the Palm Beach County courthouse. It lasted four days. There were a lot of vegetables and homemade goodies, and nearly 1,500 people attended.
Starting Friday, the centennial celebration of the South Florida Fair will be a two-week can’t-miss extravaganza of songs and shows, Ferris wheels and fried food, bathing beauties and racing pigs. Hundreds of thousands will attend. One thing’s for sure: Palm Beach County would not be the same without the South Florida Fair. ‘You run into people who say that going to the fair is a family tradition for them,’ says Rick Vymlati, president and CEO of the fair.
Here are some fun, forgotten facts about Palm Beach County’s longest-running entertainment spectacle.
1912: Good grub – for 35 cents! It started life as “The Palm Beach County Fair.” According to fair historian Prudy Taylor Board, big vegetables came in from Hobe Sound to Boynton.
Fun fact: A roast beef, ham or chicken meal, with coffee, salad and pie, costs 35 cents. Second helpings: A nickel extra.
1918-1929: The fair’s rollercoaster life. The fair kept growing, and it kept moving, too. Some of its past addresses: Dixie Highway and Sixth Avenue, Howard Park, and the north side of what is now Palm Beach International Airport.
Fun fact: The midway is introduced to the fair, with merry-go-rounds, Ferris wheels and something called “The Whip.” Admission to the entire fair: A quarter.
1930s-1946: Hard times for the fair. Stock market crashes, a hurricane near Jupiter and the Depression. The fair shuts down for almost a decade, including an aborted attempt to reopen it in 1942 – which might not have been the best idea right after Pearl Harbor.
1946-1958: The fair keeps moving. You could play a game called Finding the Fair. Some of its locations: PBIA, John Prince Park and the Palm Beach Speedway, which was on Southern Boulevard and the area where it would finally make its permanent home.
Fun fact: The speedway featured everything from NASCAR races to demolition derbies. Some of the big names that raced there: Bobby Allison and Richard Petty’s father. Plus the guy who drove a tank in the derbies. Read more…
When is your organziations’s anniversary? If you don’t have anything significant approaching soon, you could do a smaller birthday celebration on the actual day your company, or event was founded. You can have “One Day Only” specials, sales or promotions. Make it a big deal. Offer something irresistible for just that one day. People love to celebrate and if it is unusual enough, you may get some great newspaper or TV coverage. Try it!
If you do a great celebration each year with an irresistible offer for your loyal fans, tell me about it in the comments section. I love to hear about great ideas and successful promotions.
If you need help brainstorming ideas to increase the awareness of your event or business, or to give your marketing a jump start, give me a call at 561-601-5566. I’d be happy to help you!