The first attempt at an agricultural fair and livestock exhibition in Bell County was in Salado, where citizens incorporated the Central Texas Fair Association and staged three successful fairs in 1873, 74 and 75. All were held in the Fall of the year and supported by people throughout the county and from adjoining counties.
In 1967, Curran L. Jones, president of the Salado Chamber of Commerce, organized the Fine Arts Committee and commissioned the group to revive the Salado Fair. Considerable interest had been shown in the arts and crafts among newly-settled residents and it was decided the Fair should deviate from the original concept and take on a cultural and educational atmosphere for which Salado had been noted.
The purposes of the newly-conceived Art Fair were to attract artists to Salado to afford them the opportunity to present their talents to the public and provide an outlet on an annual basis to sell their products, discover new talent , establish Salado as the art center of Texas and to provide a source of revenue to Salado to support projects of beautification.
The Fair, held annually in the first week of August, attracts more than 10,000 visitors and approximately 175 artists and craftsmen to Pace Park. The legendary art fair is a wonderful family oriented event and can be enjoyed by all ages. It is very exciting to be able to attend and see the unique works of art created by local artisans and craftsmen. Each year there is always something completely new that locals and visitors alike will not want to miss out on. For instance, two years ago the historic Salado Library opened their doors and sold off thousands of books in their own booth (now it’s your time to read all those books you wanted). Books ranged from recent releases to antique books highly sought after. This is just an example of the types of booths that spring up each year in the Art Fair.
You will have an opportunity to not only enjoy a taste of the local color through hundreds of vendors, but you will have the chance to walk around the historic town and shop the wonderful array of amazing products and fineries that the Salado community has to offer. From gourmet coffee to handmade chocolate delicacies to local university sportswear, Salado has it all. Do not forget to visit the historic StageCoach Inn while you are in town. Here you can relax and enjoy a tasty meal to help you gain some more energy to enjoy even more of the local art fair.