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The Brooklyn College Country Fair was instituted in 1938 as a way to raise money for the Student Loan and Scholarship Fund as well as a way to promote relations between the various student-social organizations on campus. The elements of the Country Fair drew upon the history of the Brooklyn College campus, which had originally been a rural field area that hosted various sporting events as well as the Barnum and Bailey Circus once-a-year. Such a theme was implored into all aspects of the fair, especially the barn dances and the plaid attire of the students who participated. The Country Fair was an integral component of Brooklyn College life; it was a way for students, staff, and the community of Brooklyn to get together and celebrate the “birthday” of Brooklyn College and such an event was looked forward to by all who participated. Each year the Country Fair was held in the month of May and to ensure that the fair ran smoothly, the various Country Fair committees and its members worked diligently from the start of the spring semester which began in January or February. Close to 30 separate committees were involved in the scheduling and planning of events, contests and games, shows, concession stands, and the sale and exhibits of various items created by the student clubs involved. Beginning in the early 1960s, the elements of the Country Fair evolved into more of a multi-cultural theme due to the rise in ethnic diversity in and around the Brooklyn College campus. Although the theme had diverged slightly, the basic elements of the fair (including the King and Queen contest and the birthday cake-cutting ceremony with President Gideonse) were still the same. Within this collection, researchers can trace the evolution of the Country Fair from its commencement in 1938 until its “last hurrah” in 1994. The evidence of the diligent work put into the fair each year can be found among the artwork, scrapbooks, booklets, flyers, and correspondence of this collection; while the photographs provide a visual description of the joy and amusement shared by all who attended.

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