On October 17, 1905, the Arab Patrol of the Osiris Shriners hosted a large country fair and circus event called "The Big Country Fair and Circus" at Arion Hall in Wheeling, West Virginia. The opening night was deemed a great success, drawing energetic crowds that packed the venue.
The Ladies' Shrine of West Virginia, who assisted the event, ran the dining area on the second floor of Arion Hall. Here they served dainty lunches and had decorated parlors where ice cream and refreshments were available. Music played as well, alternating between a graphophone system operated by Bard Brothers and a large orchestrion.
The main auditorium floor was set up as the country fair itself. Decorated booths and tents recreated the nostalgic look and feel of a rural fair. Specific attractions included games, food stalls, a country store run by "Bub Shinkins and Sisters", and an eccentric sideshow tent of "freaks" like the "Half-Shriner" (a man cut in half at the waist), Bachman's 8-legged Calf, a 2-headed sheep, a dwarf, and the "Alligator Boy." The Ladies Shrine also ran a comedic mock initiation booth.
Vaudeville acts performed on the auditorium stage, including the Floyd Sisters' refined songs and dances, Leo Altmeyer's side-splitting monologue, the knife-throwing of "The Marvelous Peddlcord", vocalist Billy Tiemans, the music duo Stipes and Leach, club-swinging Professor Schambra, acrobats Hiscock and Straub, dancer The Great Mack, and Signor Snidero with his trained bear.
The opening night's success ensured large crowds would flock to the fair throughout the week. The vivid sights, sounds, and amusement brought the charm of an old-fashioned country fair to life in the heart of Wheeling. . (https://tinyurl.com/3445ev24)