The beginning is rooted in 1892. The first Bulgarian Exposition of Agriculture and Industry is inaugurated in August 1892 in Plovdiv. Its objective - to stimulate the budding Bulgarian industry and agriculture, to provide foreign contacts for the Bulgarian producers internationally, to outline perspectives to the population at large. The First Bulgarian Exposition is given birth by the evolving of Bulgarian economy of those days. It aims to show the new production forms in the country, to bring the Bulgarian producers and merchants closer to Europe and the world. Prepared enthusiastically, by many experts as well, it accounts for impressive scale and participation number, for the Exposition is stretched on a total area over 90 000 sq.m., the overall number of participant-countries is 24 and, during its holding for two months and a half, the pavilions are visited by 162 000 attendees. The Bulgarian exhibitors display their achievements in silk industry, wine-producing, tobacco-growing, textile industry, production of essential oils, furriery, plant-growing. Such technical novelties as electric bulbs, Edison's phonograph, arms of the German KRUPP company, on display at the foreign pavilions, make strong impression on the visitors.
The then heart of the Exposition Ground throbed at Tzar Simeonovata Gradina (i.e. the Garden of Tzar Simeon) is today's heart of modern Plovdiv.
In 1933 comes the National Exhibition on Economy held in Plovdiv with 424 exhibitors and over 120 000 attendees. It features the First Sample Fair in Plovdiv - one more step in the Bulgarian fair history, the history of International Fair-Plovdiv in particular.
The Second Sample Fair is in 1934. Here such celebrations are brought into focus as the 30th anniversary of the Union of Bulgarian Industrialists, the 40th anniversary of Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the 100th anniversary of the First Bulgarian Wool-Weaving Mill owned by Dobri Zheliazkov-Fabrikadzhiata. A Decree of the Council of Ministers of May 16., 1934 acknowledges Plovdiv Fair as permanent and unique one in Bulgaria. This is how it becomes a part of the economic panorama of the country.
The subsequent Sample Fair held in Plovdiv in 1936 is promulgated for international one. The estimated number of participant-companies from Bulgaria exceeds 1000, and the participating foreign companies account for 385.
Plovdiv fairs are held through the years at different intervals, but the tradition of showing new merchandise and technologies, successfully mediating between business counterparts, stays.
DR. OBREIKO OBREIKOV - A FAIR CELEBRITY
No profile of International Fair - Plovdiv is credible without paying tribute to its greatest personality - Dr. Obreiko Obreikov. Born on June 07. 1891 in Plovdiv, Dr. Obreikov comes of notable stock from the Bulgarian Revival Times. A graduate of distinction in law (Montpellier 1912), finances and trade (Paris 1919). Obtains doctor's degree in finances. Well-read, energetic and of strong will, in 1930 Dr. Obreikov is unanimously elected by his followers to preside at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Plovdiv. The great love he cherishes for his native town, fully confident of his prime mission to contribute for the economic resurgence in Bulgaria, and to work for the stabilization of the economic entities in the country, inspire him to further continue the deed initiated by the organizers of the First Bulgarian Exposition. Now Dr. Obreikov makes every endeavour to affirm Plovdiv as internationally acknowledged fair centre of Bulgaria. The admittance of Plovdiv Fair to the Union of International Fairs (UFI) as a full-fledged member is in December 1936 at a UFI-Congress in Paris after a most thorough work and a most convincing assertion of Dr. Obreiko Obreikov and Bozhidar Zdravkov - the then mayor of Plovdiv.
Two years later "Plovdiv" newspaper writes: "The Fair is an achievement of exceptional significance for our economic growth, a deed of a few people, or rather of just one honest, sincere and worthy citizen of Plovdiv - Dr. Obreiko Obreikov". Such an evaluation is fully by merit - an honour Bulgaria confers on the founder of contemporary Plovdiv Fair.
The grateful descendents have put up a bust at the modern Fair Ground, stretched on the left embankment of the Maritza River in Plovdiv, to commemorate the great personality of International Fair - Plovdiv - Dr. Obreiko Obreikov.