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St. Ambrose Fair turns 139, oldest in St. Johns County

Mary Ellen Masters leads the Menorca Chowder Team at the St. Ambrose Fair.

Hayrides, visits to historic churches, carnival games, live music and handmade food. Old-fashioned fun is on the agenda at the 139th annual St. Ambrose Spring Fair — the oldest fair in St. Johns County — which takes place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of the Catholic Church. St. Ambrose, 6070 Church Road, Elkton.

As the church was surrounded by farmland, Catholic Mass was originally celebrated with settlers in a barn in the early 1800s. In 1875 Father Stephen Langlade, a skilled carpenter from France, built a small church frame and established St. Ambrose Parish.

In 1907, the priest had also participated in the construction of a rectory, a school, a convent and a larger church. This larger structure is still standing and self-guided tours are available during the fair.

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