Emerging from the remnants of the two now defunct bands Lanemeyer and Humble Beginnings, Day at the Fair started as a half-electric, half-acoustic recording project. Former Drive-Thru Records employee and main lyricist of the band Chris Barker joined forces with Rob Heiner in 2000, to create the music that would three years later be released on the band's debut CD No Lights on Weldon for Small Records. No Lights on Weldon contained a Lanemeyer cover, Another Lonely Winter. Their line-up was completed by Mike Carrol on guitar and Frank Abruzzo on drums, while Rob played bass.
During the two and a half year recording process, Chris commuted back and forth between California and New Jersey (a subject matter that later appeared in several songs of his, including the single "Eastern Homes and Western Hearts"), until finally settling for the east coast. A Day at the Fair was now able to go on tour full-time.
On the Canadian Warped Tour, A Day at the Fair caught the attention of the chairman of Springman Records, who signed them right away. Simultaneously, the band dropped the "A" in their name, Mike left and Frank was replaced by Stephen Weir. Their second CD The Prelude EP was released in March 2004.
Joined by Todd Maisano, they became the third band to be signed by Rushmore Records later that year, given Chris' earlier connections with Drive-Thru Records. After contributing a track to the Drive-Thru/Rushmore Christmas compilation Happy Holidays from Drive-Thru Records, the band released their third album The Rocking Chair Years in May 2005.
While on tour with Allister and Fenix*TX in November 2005, Maisano left the band in order to continue his studies of chemistry and working towards earning his degree. His replacement, Gary Bender, was announced on January 6, 2006 on the band's MySpace profile.
A month later, the band announced the end of Day at the Fair as they had been known, with member changes and the promise of a new focus on the more melodic side of their music, as demonstrated in tracks such as "Here Lies Our Holiday" (as featured on Happy Holidays from Drive-Thru Records) or "Monday Morning" (from The Rocking Chair Years). They soon began writing and recording an acoustic EP.
On February 17, 2006 Day at the Fair announced what Barker describes as "not a break up, not a hiatus, just a big change..." in reference to the departure of Gary Bender, Rob Heiner and Steve Weir.
In March 2006, The new lineup of the band embarked on what would be their last tour, with Kevin Sant'angelo replacing Gary Bender on bass, Mike Cipriano replacing Steve Weir on drums and Heiner rejoining for the last 4 shows of the tour. They dropped off the last 2 weeks of that tour and played their last show at Maxwells in Hoboken,NJ in June 2006.
As of July 2, 2006, the band's website no longer functions, and their purevolume page has a message from Barker stating that the band is, for all intents and purposes, no more. However, he hints at forthcoming projects that are in the works.
Upon recent inspection of the band's Myspace profile, it appears that they have started playing local shows as Day At The Fair again. The reason for this as quoted by Barker is "Not a comeback, But more like a grave you visit to bring flowers." Since the band's "final" shows in Netcong and Hoboken, they have played a few dates every year (in Northern New Jersey, until this year's show in Philadelphia). They have covered Lanemeyer songs and taken requests at these shows as a thank you to longtime fans.
One project that was started is Further North. Featuring Chris Barker on vocals and guitar, Steve Jaworski on guitar and vocals, Kevin Sant'Angelo on bass and Mike Cipriano on drums. This NJPP supergroup is Jettison and Day at the Fair combined. They have released songs for download on their Myspace page.
Further North has also failed to meet the expectations they set forth for themselves, shortly after adding John Castaldo from Bigwig onto bass and Rob Heiner on guitar. In retrospect they've said, "When you get older, love and life stand as a human shield to your ego, till your ego gets old, and gives up on that as well..." "We've made some great memories... Now it's time to be grown up..."
Day At The Fair is currently in the studio recording a follow-up to The Rocking Chair Years to be released on Broken Heart Records.