Washington County Fair Manager Mark St. Jacques said there is always something for every member of the family to enjoy, “In one day I don’t think you can see all of the shows, and that doesn’t even count all the demonstrations, exhibits, (and) farm animals”..
At a recent speaking engagement Assemblyman Roy McDonald emphasized how great he thought the Washington County Fair was and what an asset the annual event was to the area.
“You’ve got the best county fair in the state right down there in Easton – it’s real, it’s authentic, take advantage of that,” McDonald said.
Come and see what all of the fuss is about beginning Monday, Aug. 18 and running through Aug. 24.
The Washington County Fair is seven days of fun, food, entertainment, agricultural displays, farm animals, music, everything you would expect to find at a county fair and more.
Some kinds of old-fashioned fun have come and gone with more and more local fireman’s carnivals going under, but the fair remains family fun that is easy on the wallet and wholesome – this is not the movie theatre, there are no R-rated acts at the Washington County Fair.
The fair has been a local agricultural tradition for more than a century. Started by the Cambridge Agricultural Society in 1885, it has grown to attract more than 100,000 visitors each year to the fairgrounds in Greenwich/Easton.
Fair Manager Mark St. Jacques said there is always something for every member of the family to enjoy.
“Well for one thing, new this year, which hasn’t been here in six years, the racing pigs are back,” said St. Jacques. “People just enjoy that. It’s such a fun thing to watch.”
Whether it’s family-style entertainment like the Glens Falls Kennel Club dog agility contests or the Hot Dog Pig Races even the family juggling/variety act known as Bounce, Ooo LaLa and Daniel, musical acts like Smokey Greene or the Front Porch Pickers, or the County Bounty Building the fair has something to interest everyone.
St. Jacques said the Washington County Fair is about the family, and everything the fair does, from the entertainment to the way the fair is set up, reflects that.
“We welcome everyone to stop by the fair,” St. Jacques. “It’s a true day of family fun, and we hope to see you here.”
The popular ride attractions are brought by Amusements of America in a family-friendly manner. Larger, louder rides like the Zipper and the Gravitron will be set up in one area, while smaller “kiddie rides” will be in a separate part of the fairgrounds.
While rides aren’t for everyone, there are plenty of other attractions for everyone as well, including hundreds of animals from the county’s many farms on display. From cows and sheep to ducks and chickens, just about any farm animal you can think of is represented at the fairgrounds all week long. Visitors are encouraged to talk to the farmers who raised these critters.
St. Jacques said there is so much entertainment that one day of the fair just would not be enough time to fit everything in.
“In one day I don’t think you can see all of the shows, and that doesn’t even count all the demonstrations, exhibits, (and) farm animals,” he said.
Other fair activities and programs will inform fairgoers about the farm lifestyle, including Tuesday night’s Farmer Olympics, horse gymkhanas, and even tractor pulls. A County Bounty Building also offers many different demonstrations and exhibits on agriculture. Crafts including spinning, rug hooking, quilting, and doll making will be on hand throughout the day.
Also, stop by the fair’s Farm Museum for a look at some old fashioned farming equipment.
The Future Farmers of America’s Farmland building features animals that the kids can pet or get up close and personal with.
Entertainment is a big draw and the fair offers many different acts for the entire family’s enjoyment. Smokey Green on Monday evening, The Audio Stars – a band made up from members of the Burners UK on Tuesday, The Adirondack Fiddlers and the Front Porch Pickers on Wednesday, the Battenkill Country Band on Thursday, the Lockhart Mountain Boys on Friday, The Doerful Family Bluegrass Band and the Merry Mohican Square Dancers on Saturday, and True Grass on Sunday,
Additional family entertainment options include Sylvia Markson and the Magic Trunk ventriloquist act, Buffalo and Brandy, Bounce & Ooo LaLa, the Holy Cow, Mr. Pig and Bully Show, the Firefighter Training Show, Hill Country Cloggers, and the Adirondack Cowgirls drill team.
St. Jacques said that the nice thing about the fair’s line-up of entertainers is that they are families, which goes along with their theme.
“That goes with the fair, that it’s a family fair,” he said. “The entertainers we do hire, that’s what they’re geared for, entertaining the pre-schooler and the four- and five-year-old, and entertain Mom and Dad right behind them.”
A variety of motorsports will be featured for those who like their entertainment loud tinged with just a hint of exhaust fumes. A demolition derby, tractor pulls, ATV pulls and more are featured every year, to the delight of motor enthusiasts.
And no one could forget the delectable fair food that we all know and love.
St. Jacques said the magic of the fair is that it hearkens back to a time when county fairs were one of the only chances people had to get together and see friends, family and neighbors in the year. St. Jacques said the Washington County Fair is like that today, with a big social atmosphere that draws people from all over.
One of the things that make the fair so popular, he said, is that it’s often a chance to see friends and neighbors that the busy-ness of life often makes impossible to see. It’s also the chance to see friends compete, whether it is at a tractor pull or in the show ring with a prized cow or during one of the competitions in the Grange or 4-H buildings.
“It’s that family atmosphere, and seeing friends you haven’t seen all year,” St. Jacques said. “The hustle and bustle slows down enough for people to sit down and relax at a picnic table and catch up over a burger or hot dogs or chicken barbecue.”
“It’s always good to mention the hundreds of volunteers who put this fair together,” St. Jacques said. “The whole motorsports line up is all run by volunteers. The judging, the cattle shows, the sheep shows, all the judging for pies, quilts, all the displays … they are put together by volunteers. The farm museum is run by volunteers.”
The fair is a non-profit, and run by a board of 32 volunteers.
Buildings open up at 10 a.m. each day, and the fun lasts until 11 p.m. Regular fair admission is $10 for adults, free for children under 14. A season ticket is $30.
Special admission dates includes Senior Day on Wednesday, with $5 admission available to senior citizens. Tuesday is Carnival Day, with all rides from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. for $20 and the same great deal goes for Sunday’s Family Fun Day. “You can’t even go to the movies for $20 anymore,” he said.
St. Jacques said the dollar admission costs went up this season will be used toward planning for the future of the fair and to purchase additional land for parking.
Free parking is available, and free shuttle rides will get guests from their vehicles to the fair gates.
For more information, call the fair at 518-692-2464 or check out www.washingtoncountyfair.com.