The Wharton County Youth Fair and Exposition (WCYF&E) was organized in 1975 as a corporation for the promotion of educational programs and activities for the benefit of the youth of Wharton County who are interested in agriculture, livestock production, and associated industries. The purpose is to provide encouragement and assistance through scholarship to these individuals in order that they might achieve proficiency through higher learning and education.
The Wharton County Boy Builders Association was a group of businessmen that was formed to take on the responsibility for providing a venue for the youth of Wharton County to exhibit and sell their animal projects. This group was associated with the old Wharton Youth Fair until 1963, when the County Commissioners withdrew all monetary support for the fair. The fair closed and the property eventually became part of the Wharton County Junior College campus. The events and show were then held in the county barn in Pierce, Texas. The leadership of the Boy Builders Association set a goal of establishing a privately funded county fair.
The corporate charter for the WCYF&E was approved and filed on December 15, 1975. The WCYF&E was the first Youth Fair to obtain a 501(c)3 tax exempt status in the state of Texas.
The Boy Builders committed $20,000 and the Wharton County Youth Rodeo contributed $10,000 in pens, panels and a sound system to the Fair.
The first meeting was held on January 12, 1976, at which time officers and directors were elected. The first officers were: John Joyce, President; William J. Hlavinka, 1st Vice President; Tom Henderson, 2nd Vice President; Johnnie Garrett, Secretary and Harry M. Burger, Jr., Treasurer. The 25 directors came from each community in Wharton County.
The Crescent Property was purchased from the El Campo Independent School District. The original property purchased consisted of 8.8 acres, which included a brick school structure with a gymnasium, an old wooden concession stand that was quickly demolished, a wooden home that housed the 1st caretakers of the grounds, James & Edith Rebecek. In addition there was an old wooden building that had once been the School Cafeteria. Building projects that began in 1977 still continue today.