The Niagara Regional Exhibition is owned and operated by the Niagara Regional Agricultural Society. The purpose of the Niagara Regional Agricultural Society is to promote better understanding between rural and urban communities. The society holds agricultural demonstrations as well as meetings. The NRAS encourages young people to become interested in and adopt better agricultural and domestic practices. One of the oldest and best known Pioneer Institutions in the Peninsula, it's beginnings date back to 1832. Ephriam Hopkins' farm and hotel was the first location. A Year after the County of Welland was established in 1852 a new Association emerged based on Coleman's Inn in Port Robinson, then (1857) on to Merritsville. This being the nucleus of what is now the City of Welland it remained here for over 100 years.
Eventually the fair reached it's limitations on the 16 acres. On May 31, 1967, the Welland County Agricultural Society purchased 75 acres at the junction of highways 406 and 58, being near the geographic centre of the Peninsula. The Directors did a lot of long- range planning and decided it was virtually impossible to construct the kind of Exhibition they wanted and used it for one week per year. This led to a daring new concept for the fair. It was decided to use the grounds for agricultural and commercial purposes as in the past but it should also be used for year round recreational and cultural purposes. In line with this direction the name was changed to Niagara Regional Agricultural Society. Niagara Regional Exhibition was born from this advanced concept. The main Exhibition Building (40,000 sq. ft.) was designed to hold a multitude of indoor shows and sports events.
This Society was founded in 1853 by Provincial Charter. It was called the Welland County Agricultural Society and operated the Welland Fair. On January 30, 1970 the name of the fair was changed to Niagara Regional Exhibition and on January 22, 1971 the name of the Society was changed to Niagara Regional Agriculture Society. The objectives of the Society are to encourage interest, promote improvements in and advance the standards of agriculture, domestic industry and rural life.
Every person is entitled to be a member of the Society, but no person under Twenty-one years of age is eligible to vote at any meeting of the Society or to hold office in the Society.
The business of the Society is carried on by eighteen senior directors and six junior directors (not over twenty-one years of age). They all serve without remuneration of any kind in the interest of this community. Anyone interested in the fun and fellowship of operating a large fair with its multitudes of activities should contact a director and ask to serve on the committee.