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The working title of this film was The Great Companions. Hollywood Reporter reported in March 1951 that Aubrey Schenck would produce the film, and stated in September of that year that Lou Breslow would direct. In March 1952, Los Angeles Times stated that Ann Blyth was to star as "Zerelda Wing." According to a March 1951 Variety article, some scenes were to be shot in Saratoga Springs, MI, but it has not been determined if this location was used for the final film.
Dan Dailey was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox for his role as "Doc Tilbee." An August 1951 Hollywood Reporter article expressed surprise that Dailey, known for his dancing, would not dance in the film. Chet Allen, who played young "Tad Bayliss," was a singer with the Columbus Boychoir of Princeton, New Jersey. Actor Hugh O'Brian was switched from a role in Universal's Cattle Kate, which was filming simultaneously, for a larger role in Meet Me at the Fair. A scene in the film includes a 1904 newsreel detailing the opening of New York City's Rapid Transit Subway and the Indianapolis Racetrack.