The first show was held in 1908 and has continued to be run by the Waikato Winter Show Association. The event was initially formed by the businessmen of Hamilton City in order to connect the Agricultural Community with the city folk.
It had a strong educational focus and was considered a celebration of the various skills of the Waikato people. The Waikato Winter Show also served to showcase the products hewn from the animals and land of the Waikato Region.
Butter, Cheese, Vegetables, Sewing, Knitting, and Preserves all played an important part in the exhibits. There was an entertainment act, which at times included tightrope walkers, circus, carnivals and more.