Fairs & Festivals 2010

From traditional county fairs and innovative theater performances to music of all types, these 20 local events help put the fun in summer


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County Fairs

Orange County Fair
Wallkill, July 21-Aug. 1

This southern Valley fair is the grandpa of the bunch, now in its 170th year. The ground’s Orange County Fair Speedway is the oldest continuously operated dirt track in the country and the epicenter of the fair’s activities. For up-to-date event information visit www.orangecountyfair.com.

Putnam County 4-H Fair
Carmel, July 23-25

This free fair brings a fun-filled weekend of cool crafts, grazing animals, and delicious food to the Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park. Visit www.cce.cornell.edu/putnam for more information.

Ulster County Fair
New Paltz, Aug. 3-8

No need to take out a second mortgage for a night of family fun. This fair’s $15 admission fee includes parking, all entertainment, and rides, too. And opening night is Carload Night, just $40 per car no matter how many you have crammed in there. There’s lots to do for the whole family including a petting zoo; Magic Circus; special senior’s entertainment; truck, pig, and horse pulls; a sheriff’s museum; live music, and much more. Find out more about the fair at www.ulstercountyfair.com.

Dutchess County Fair
Rhinebeck, Aug. 24-29

Though it remains dedicated to its roots as an agricultural fair, this Valley favorite — celebrating its 165th year — provides all the sticky treats, rides, games, and exhibits a person could want. Fair features include the Antiques Museum Village; the Northern Dutchess Rod & Gun Club Wildlife Exhibit; arts and crafts; endless concessions; a new environmental initiative, the Green Tent; livestock showing and racing; grandstand music performances; horse shows; and a new Memorial Garden in the Horticulture Center. Read more about the festivities at www.dutchessfair.com.

Columbia County Fair
Chatham, Sept. 1-6

In addition to more than 175 exhibits, rides, livestock, and a 1964 musical tribute, this year’s Columbia County Fair will host special events such as Columbia County Bounty, a showcase of the county’s varied farming communities; the Bounty Cooking Contest, offering $1,000 to the amateur or professional chef who makes the most delectable locally sourced dish; and both watermelon and blueberry pie-eating contests. Visit www.columbiafair.com for more information.

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