B y Linda Ellingsworth

From 4-H kids to rodeo competitors, from line dancers to carnival ride fans, next week is the culmination of the summer as the Washington County Fair opens on Monday, Aug. 24 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 30.

Approximately 120,000 people annually converge on the sprawling fairgrounds on Route 29 in Greenwich for this celebration of agriculture and country living. More than 1,900 animals will be on site. There will be 30 free daily shows, 40 carnival rides, and 50 food vendors on hand to satisfy every appetite.

On the agricultural side, attendees can walk through the barns to see the many cows, goats, sheep and pigs on display. Cows will be milked a couple times each day in the milking parlor in the ag building. Horse shows will be ongoing throughout the week.

For kids who participate in 4-H, the fair is the highlight of the year. Depending on their project for the Washington County Fair, students may spend a few weeks or many months preparing, said Chrys Nestle, 4-H Educator for Washington County. Photography continues to be a strong area. In recent years, said Nestle, there has a boom in interest in youth showing vegetables and produce. Textile arts and fiber arts are also showing an increase in interest.

In addition to showing projects or animals, 4-H members also work at the 4-H Food Booth, taking orders from the public.

“They work hard,” said Nestle. “We are very appreciative of their work.”

Equestrian fans can watch horse shows throughout the week and shows by the Adirondack Drill Team. On Tuesday night, a professional rodeo will take place at 7 p.m. in the Motorsports Arena.

Those seeking a different kind of horsepower won’t want to miss the opening night Stoney Roberts Demolition Derby at 7 p.m. The following Sunday, the monster trucks Raminator and Rammunition return to do battle, with the new twist of spectator rides. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30, a specially-equipped monster truck will give free rides to the public.

Other motor-powered events include a sanctioned tractor pull that starts at noon on Saturday, Aug. 29. Washington County kids ages 4-8 can compete in a pedal tractor pull at noon that day. Sign-up is in the Toy Building, No. 30.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a county fair without a large midway, and the Washington County Fair hosts a huge carnival area with more than 40 thrill rides. Tuesday is Carnival Fun Day, when fair-goers can enjoy all rides for $20 from noon to 11 p.m. The rides will be open from 5-11 p.m. on Monday, from noon to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The Washington County Fair features several family-oriented shows throughout the day. In the evenings, there will be music by country performers Smokey Green on Monday at 6 and 8 p.m., and by Jeff Williams on Saturday at 6 and 8 p.m.

New this year, fair attendees can do a little boot scootin’ at the Kevin Richards Country Dance Party at 6 p.m. on Friday, presented by Froggy 100.3. Instruction will be given for those who are new to this style of dancing.

“Kevin Richards is a great teacher,” said Ida Williams, the fair’s public relations representative. “If you want to learn, there will be people who will stand right next to you to help you get through it.”

Before heading to the fair, be sure to download the new Washington County Fair app to your smartphone. With this app, attendees can access the complete schedule and get up-to-the-minute updates. The new Wi-Fi base in the commercial building will help everyone at the fair stay connected.

Fair admission is $10 for adults and free for children 13 and younger. Active members of the military also receive free admission. A week-long pass is available for $30. Special promotions include Carnival Day on Tuesday, with all rides costing a single fee of $20; Senior Citizens’ Day is Wednesday, with $5 admission for those 62 and older; Thursday is Children’s Day, during which kids from high school age and younger get in free; and Family Fun Day on Sunday, when all rides cost $20 for the entire day.

The fair opens at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24 and at 9 a.m. all other days. The midway will be open at noon Tuesday through Sunday.

For a complete schedule, check the fair’s website at www.washingtoncountyfair.com.

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