B y Derek Liebig
The animals have been on display; the rides have been thrilling patrons and the turnstiles are spinning as the Washington County Fair opened earlier this week for the 120th year. Although it’s too late to relive the first three days of the fair, local residents can still enjoy the final four days.
The last days of the fair will feature a number of 4-H presentations, judged shows, a karaoke contest, live entertainment, a number of agricultural and non-agricultural demonstrations and the always popular pulling events on the track.
Thursday will serve as “Children’s Day,” when all high school age children and younger are granted admission at no charge. Most children will probably head immediately to the midway where they’ll be able to enjoy games and the death defying thrills of the amusement rides.
Amusements of America has once again been charged with the responsibility of providing the mechanical excitement of the fair and they have certainly delivered with more than 35 different rides.
Familiar favorites such as the Tornado and Tilt-A-Whirl will return along with new rides like the Vertigo, a 60-foot tower swing. There will also more than a dozen rides for younger children and their more reserved parents, such as the Wild Chopper Ride and Tubs of Fun.
Courtesy of Fitzgerald Brothers, children will also have two opportunities to win a bicycle. Two bikes will be given away in the Entertainment Tent, one at 3 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m.
Other events on Thursday include Garden Tractor Pulls at 9 a.m. and the ever popular 4-Wheel Drive Truck Pulls at 6 p.m. On the Track.
There will also be a little magic in the air as Slyvia and the Magic Trunk perform at 2:30, 4:30 and 7 p.m. on the Front Porch Stage and the Kid Davie Magic Show performs in the Entertainment Tent at 7:30 p.m.
Music fans can enjoy the barber shop sounds of the Elderly Brothers at 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the Front Porch Stage.
“We’ve brought back many of the same entertainers from previous years. People really seem to enjoy them,” explained Mark St. Jacques, fair manager. “They may be the same entertainers, but they bring back new shows every year.”
Friday’s festivities will be highlighted by the Out of Field Tractor Pull On the Track at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. “Everyone likes the motor sports events,” said St. Jacques.
“American Idol” enthusiasts will want to make their way to Entertainment Tent at 6 p.m. for the Froggy 107.1 Karaoke Contest and the Adirondack Cowgirls will perform at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. (as well as those same times on Saturday).
The final weekend of the fair features the NYPTA-Sanctioned Tractor Pull on Saturday and the Big Rigs Semi-Truck Pulls on Sunday. Saturday’s events will be held at 1 and 7 p.m. while Sunday’s festivities are scheduled for 1 p.m.
Sunday will also serve as Family Fun Day when patrons can ride all the rides for only $20.
The final two days will also feature musical performances by the Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip at 4 and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Harold Ford and the Cash Band at 2 and 4 p.m. on Sunday as well as the True Grass Band at 7:30 p.m.
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.
Because the fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary at its venerable fair grounds in Greenwich, 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 9 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Admission costs $10 and children under age 14 are permitted at no charge. Active members of the military are free with their military ID.