The first fair on the Eastern Shore developed specifically for an African-American audience was sponsored by the Onawa Social Union and organized in 1891 near Mappsburg Station. The Onawa Social Union was a Freemason's lodge in Accomack County.
Located on Tasley Fairground Road, the Tasley Fair was one of the two popular summer pastimes for African Americans on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. At the end of the 19th century, James H. Wharton, a local businessman, and James D. Uzzle, a public school principal, formed the Central Agricultural Fair Association. In the early 1930s, Rufus Wharton, Howard Wharton, and J. Edgar Thomas became board members. Thomas became president and manager of the Fair in the late 1930s and the Central Agricultural Fair Association prospered under his direction.
The Weirwood Fair, the other source of summer pleasure for the black community, was sponsored by the Central Northampton Agricultural Industrial Fair Association. Begun in 1926, it was located just off Bayford Road. The Fair's founding trustees were Alfonzo Fitchett, Luther Francis, Walter Jefferson, Pack Bracy Jr., Henderson Savage, Charles N. McCune, Dr. Peter Carter, C.U. Sisco, and W.C. Brown. The board purchased two plots of land in Weirwood: one in 1926 and one in 1927.
A day at the Tasley and Weirwood Fairgrounds included harness races at the track; concessions of food and novelties; games of chance, pitching pennies and knocking down pins; carnival rides, including swings, a merry-go-round, and a Ferris wheel as well as agricultural and industrial exhibits. Fair days typically ended with a display of fireworks.
The Tasley fair was located in Tasley, Accomack County on Tasley Fairground Road. The Weirwood fair was located in Weirwood, Northampton County on Bayford Road.
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