By Derek Liebig
The Washington County Fair, an agricultural tradition for 120 years, will be held at the venerable fairgrounds in Greenwich Monday, Aug. 23, through Sunday, Aug. 29.
The fair, which draws around 100,000 people every year, features a full slate of attractions and entertainers that has made the fair a success for more than a century.
Gates are officially scheduled to open at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23, and will feature some mayhem On the Track at 6 p.m.
“The motor sports start with the Demolition Derby on Monday,” said Washington County Fair Manager Mark St. Jacques. “Everyone likes the noise and the smoke of the derby and the other motor sports events.”
Monday evening will also feature the 5 Mile Run to the Fair at 6 p.m., an assortment of judged events, and a musical performance at 6 and 8 p.m. by the Smokey Greene Band.
“We’ve brought back many of the same entertainers from previous years. People really seem to enjoy them,” explained St. Jacques. “They may be the same entertainers, but they bring back new shows every year.”
Some of the popular musical acts set to return to the fair this year include: The Elderly Brothers, who will have a series of performances all week on the Front Porch Stage, Freedom Hawk at 6 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the Ag Porch Pickers at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Adirondack Fiddlers at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, the Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip at 4 and 6 p.m. on Saturday, the Harold Ford and the Cash Band at 2 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, and the True Grass Band at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The fair will also welcome Bobby Dick and the Sundowners, who are in the midst of their final tour. The group will play in the Entertainment Tent at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Music is but a small part of the entertainment at the fair.
Returning to the fair after a successful showing in 2009 is the Painted Pony Rodeo. “The folks from Painted Pony are excited to bring back an even better rodeo this year,” said St. Jacques. The Painted Rodeo events will be held at 10:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 24.
Tuesday will also feature a number of judged shows, a Youth Dressage Show at 9 a.m. and a couple of performances by the Adirondack Cowgirls at 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m.
The following day will feature a display of power and torque as the track plays host to the 4 Wheel Drive Diesel Truck Pulls at 7 p.m. Fair-goers may also want to check out the NBHA Barrel Racing event at 5 p.m. in the Horse Arena.
Thursday is Children’s Day at the fair when high school age children and younger are granted admission free of charge. To commemorate this occasion, Fitzgerald Brothers will hold two Bike Give A Way’s at 3 and 8 p.m. at in the Entertainment Tent. Children will also be entertained by the Kid Davie Magic Show at 7:30 p.m.
The final three days of the show feature a number of 4-H presentations, judged shows, the Froggy 107.1 Karaoke Contest at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, additional performances by the Adirondack Cowgirls at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and a number of agricultural and non-agricultural demonstrations.
However, some of the most popular weekend attractions will be held on the track. Friday features the Out of Field Tractor Pulls at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The NYTPA-Sanctioned Tractor Pulls will be held at 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday. And for everyone who hasn’t had their fill of pulling events, the Big Rigs Semi-truck Pulls and ATV Pulls will be held on Sunday at 1 and 6 p.m., respectively.
Besides all the scheduled events, the fair features a variety of attractions every day.
Families will once again have the opportunity to get up close and personal with “a whole menageries of animals” in the Farm Land Barn. They can also enjoy Puddles the Clown face painting, magic shows, dog agility shows, racing pigs, firefighting training shows, and the First Bite Fishing Tank, to name a few.
The First Bite Fishing Tank is sure to be a popular attraction. “Kids will have the chance to catch trout. It’s just another opportunity to educate children about fishing and introduce those who don’t normally have the opportunity to fish. It’s all catch and release,” said St. Jacques.
And of course, thrill seekers will find a variety rides from Amusements of America. Familiar favorites such as the Tornado and Tilt-A-Whirl will return along with new rides like the Vertigo, a 60-foot tower swing.
In all, more than 35 rides will be featured.
Because the fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary at its current location, organizers have made an effort of “putting together a showcase of the last 50 years at the fair,” explained St. Jacques.
“People who have been around a few years will remember when the fair was just a few tents and will get to see just how much it has grown,” said St. Jacques.
General Electric Co., one the fair’s grand champion sponsors, has worked with the anniversary committee to develop a display that will be hosted in the GE Family Pavilion, located in the previous cattle judging area.
“There will be a full display of memorabilia from the past 50 years of the fair. It should be a very high end, professional display,” said Ida Williams.
Gates to the fair open at 5 p.m. on Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Admission costs $10 and children under age 14 are permitted at no charge. An all-week pass will cost $30. Active members of the military are free with their military ID.
Special promotions include Carnival Fun Day on Tuesday, Aug. 24, when patrons can ride all the rides for only $20; $5 admission for anyone age 62 or older on Wednesday, Aug. 25, during Senior Citizen Day; Children’s Day on Thursday, Aug, 26, when high school age children will receive free admission; and Family Fun Day on Sunday, Aug, 29, when patrons will once again be able to ride all the rides for only $20.
For a complete schedule of events, prices, and promotions, visit www.washingtoncountyfair.com .