Columbia County Fair - Chatham, NY


One of the oldest county fairs in the country, this venerable original remains true to its farming roots and wholesome community spirit. An integral part of the region, the fair celebrates the joys, skill, and hard work of farming, quilting, weaving, riding, cooking, and other arts and crafts, will be on display for visitors to enjoy at the 176th Columbia County Fair this Labor Day Weekend.

More than 300 exhibition and competition categories cover a wide range of agricultural and homemaking arts, as well as a photo contest for amateur shutter bugs. More than $6,000 in cash premiums will be awarded to the Best Registered Dairy Cattle, and Sheep contests, and nearly $2,000 to the Best Wool Products. Additional premiums go to the 4-H members and their animals. In 2015, a total of $25,000 was awarded.


Sponsored by Trustco Bank

These wonderful creatures and creations are on displayed on the grounds for your enjoyment and to win prizes. In front of the fair house, Sunday 11-6, a demonstration on how to create your very own scarecrow.

Domestic Arts and Crafts

Sponsored by Pattison, Koskey, Howe & Bucci, CPA's PC

Showcasing everything from floral arrangements to baked goods to pottery. The fair's domestic arts and crafts exhibits are greatly expanded this year nestled in Four Corners Hall. Be sure to check them out. Categories include: Canning/ Baking/ Fine Arts/ Weaving / Basketry / Woodwork/ Flowers/ Hobbies/ Crafts/ Needlework and Youth Division.

The Quilt Show

Sponsored by The Bank of Greene County

Housed in a historic Octagon Building. With 18 entry categories, submissions range from the simple to the complex, and include original designs as well as such traditional patterns as the Log Cabin, Morning Star, Ohio Star, Trip Around the World, Double Irish Chain, and Triple Irish Chain.

Live Animals

With hefty heifers, and plenty of other creatures great and small, the fair is alive with animals of all shapes and sizes. You're sure to enjoy watching the best of the best walk off with cash prizes and blue ribbons in the Show Ring. Besides swine, check out the competition ring or meander through the barns to view other fine four-legged animals. A partial listing follows. And don't forget to visit the Poultry Barn! 

Dairy Cattle Show

Sponsored by Carolina-Eastern Vail, inc.

From Ayrshires to Milking Shorthorns, from Guernsey to Brown Swiss, the region's dairy cattle draw admiring glances.


Sponsored by Agway of Chatham-Claverack-Millerton-Gt.Barrington

Two dozen breeds, from the better known Shetland and Merino to the more exotic Tunis and Ramboullet, fill the sheep pens.


Sponsored by Agway of Chatham-Claverack-Millerton-Gt.Barrington

Chickens are back with 206 classes. The barn will be filled with beautiful colors of clucking and crowing. The Loud Mouth Rooster Crowing Contest is back too.


Sponsored by Agway of


Equestrians of all ages gather at the fair's Open Horse Show Monday. Riders of both English and Western disciplines, juniors and adults are invited to show. FIVE MONEY awards!

Beef Cattle Show

Sponsored by Dells’ Plumbing & Heating & A/C, Inc.

From Angus to Herefords, from Shorthorn to Simmental, the region's best beef cattle vie to win the championship.


Sponsored by Kozel's Restaurant

Growers are again welcomed at the fair. The Fruits & Vegetables competition has more than 100 classes for everything from apples and pears to strawberries, squash, tomatoes, peppers, beans and oh so much more. Prizes are awarded for color, size, unusual shapes, form and condition.

Special Exhibits and Events

Columbia County's
Got Talent

Sponsored by The Lofgren Agency & Old Ghent Realty, Inc.

Not just all singing or all dancing. There's more - much more. Participants can show us their stuff in any facet of vocal, instrumental or dance. Like rap? Show tunes? Ballroom dancing? How about the banjo or accordion? In this competition, the sky's the limit! The event is chock full of adults and kids who can't wait to get up there on that stage and compete.

Flower Show

Sponsored by Claverack Pump Service LLC

This year, the theme is "Community Outreach...Join a Garden Club" which will be designed to be educational. Picture rich auburn chrysanthemums for Fall and maybe some green-edged parrot tulips showing up in a Spring arrangement. Breathtaking!

The Bounty Cooking Contest - Columbia County Fair Cupcake War 2016

Sponsored by Ginsberg's Foods and hosted by Nancy Fuller of Food Network's Farmhouse Rules..

Attention all closet Iron Chefs. Attention future Rachael Rays. This year's The Bounty Cooking Contest is Cupcake War 2016. The contest is open to amateurs. The only criteria are that most of the ingredients must have been grown locally. Dishes will be judged by on presentation, originality and taste in one of two categories: sweet and savory.

School Work

Sponsored by Columbia-Greene Community College Public Relations Department

A trip to the fair isn't complete without visiting the Little Red School House, with its grand display of art work by area students. A favorite must-see exhibit, all local schools participate, pre-school youngsters through high school seniors. Arts in education, is alive and well in Columbia County, and this exhibit celebrates that creative expression. 

School Girl Queen

Sponsored by Columbia-Greene Community College - Dean of Students

Tradition marches on as young women compete in the 80th annual Columbia County School Girl Queen Contest. With judging based on personality, poise, and appearance, contestants from all-six public schools in the county vie for cash prizes in this competition filled with school spirit.

Photo Contest

Sponsored by Photo Art by Ken Bovat

Calling all amateur shutter bugs! Whether you enjoy photographing landscapes or livestock, people or parades, display your best shot taken in Columbia County. Cash prizes and ribbons are awarded by a panel of professional photographers based on creativity, composition, impact, story-telling, technical quality, and presentation. (Professionals may submit photographs for display but are not eligible to compete).


Sponsored by Pepsi Bottling
Group of Albany

After the kids get through playing with the little lambs in the sheep barn, they can see the sheep shearing. Then, at the Wool Booth, they can see the finished product – beautifully displayed. Watch nimble fingers spin wool. Marvel at the subtle shades of vegetable dyed yarn. And then see lots and lots of wonderful handmade woolen goods – sweaters, socks, coverlets, and lace weight wool products made from yarn as fine as cobwebs. Experts are on hand to answer questions all day every day. And, even though there are examples of felted wool and wonderful pieced woolen wall hangings, this booth is a knitter's paradise.

Heritage Village Exhibit

Sponsored by Mulhern Gas Co.

Fly-tying, jewelry making, tinsmithing, iron work, paper marbling, book binding, all handcrafts that have been superseded by mechanization. Here in Heritage Village, see craftspeople working the old fashioned way – with their hands. And get a chance to not only watch something being made, but, if you choose, purchase an object to take home – a hand-crafted keepsake and, just possibly, an heirloom for tomorrow. Also displayed, Antique Engines, Pumps, Corn Husking and Related Machinery.

Watermelon Contest

The one and only eating contest that's good for your diet. Who can eat the most slices of melon in the allotted time? And… if you're the fastest in your age group, you will be awarded a trophy. Maybe you'll be top seed.

Ice Cream Contest

Sponsored by Stewart's Shops

Our annual ice cream eating contest welcomes all takers - men, women and children. All they need is a hearty appetite and a love of ice cold ICE CREAM. For these contestants it's a dream come true. For the rest of us it's great fun and gives new meaning to the phrase "brain-freeze."

Sunflower Contest

Sponsored by Berkshire Bank

Our first annual sunflower contest welcomes all green thumbs to test their horticultural skills. Enter one of two classes or both, tallest plant and largest head, for both adults and youths.

Amateur Craft Beer, Wine and Cider Contest

Sponsored by: S.T.Hudson and Son Plumbing & HVAC

Thristy for a new challenge, try our new craft beer, wine and cider contest for the home brewer. If you are 21 years of age or older and live in or within 50 miles of Columbia County, you can enter.

Columbia County Fair is sponsored by A. Carlusso & Son, Inc. and Hudson River Bankd & Trust Co. Foundation