CHATHAM — The 177th Columbia County Fair brings the summer to an unofficial close Aug. 30 through Labor Day, Sept. 4 with six days of entertainment, food, agriculture and exhibits at the junction of Routes 66 and 203.
Sponsored by the nonprofit Columbia County Agricultural Society, the historic fair offers families a chance to reconnect with friends and neighbors to enjoy more than 200 exhibits, shows, contests, amusement rides and attractions. Columbia County’s rich agricultural heritage is at the forefront of the annual six-day tradition, “always over Labor Day.”
Opening day, August 30, gates swing open at noon and close at 11 p.m. Aug. 31 through Sept. 4, the fair opens daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. Admission includes parking and children ages 12 and under are admitted free each day. Active military personnel with ID or in uniform are admitted free daily. Adult admission each day except Sunday, Sept. 3 is $10. On Sept. 3, adult admission is $15 as country singer Travis Tritt performs in front of the grandstand at 7 p.m. On Aug. 31, youths ages 18 and under are admitted free until 4 p.m. and seniors ages 62 and over are admitted for half price until 4 p.m. as part of Youth and Senior Citizen Day. A special ride pass will be available for $20 from noon to closing at 11 p.m. Free wheelchairs, courtesy of Barnwell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Valatie, are available.
Amusements of America will offer 30 midway rides this year, including a wide selection for the youngest of fair patrons. All-day ride passes will be offered each day.
Highlights for each day of the six-day fair include: Wednesday, Aug. 30 is “Register Star/Chatham Courier Day” with the Demolition Derby starting at 6:30 p.m. in front of the grandstand presented by Stoney Roberts Productions. A special hand stamp for amusement rides will be available for $15 from 1 p.m. to closing at 11 p.m. Columbia County’s Got Talent, an open talent show will start at noon for juniors, 2:30 p.m. for teens, 5 p.m. for adults and culminate in the finals at 7 p.m. with awards to follow.
Thursday, Aug. 31 is the Demolition Derby Finale at 6:30 p.m. sponsored by Madsen Overhead Doors and W & B Golf Carts, Inc. Youths and seniors get in at reduced prices and a special amusement ride hand stamp will be available for $20 from noon to closing.
Friday, Sept. 1 is Columbia-Greene Community College Day with a special amusement ride hand stamp available for $20 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and performances at 3, 5 and 7 p.m. by the Cincinnati Circus. The 80th annual Schoolgirl Queen pageant steps off at 6:30 p.m. in front of the grandstand featuring contestants from each of Columbia County’s six public high schools vying for the crown. Contestants are Kaylin Meyer, Miss Chatham; Emily Nack, Miss Germantown; Shelbi Neal, Miss Hudson; Debra McKinney, Miss Ichabod Crane; Dakota Kubli, Miss New Lebanon and Alexandria Shumsky, Miss Taconic Hills. Judging is based on personality, poise and appearance. The winner will be crowned by last year’s Schoolgirl Queen, Marissa O’Dell of Ichabod Crane High School, and receive a $500 prize.
Saturday, Sept. 2 is A. Colarusso & Son, Inc. Day with a special amusement ride hand stamp for $20 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. The annual Firefighters Parade steps off at 11 a.m. sponsored by A. Colarusso & Son, Inc. and Stewart’s Shops featuring fire departments from Columbia and surrounding counties marching into the fairgrounds after parading through the Village of Chatham in an annual salute to our volunteers. The popular Monster Tractor Pull takes place in front of the grandstand at 4 p.m. sponsored by Hudson River Tractor Co. North Gate Stage entertainment features “Variety Extreme” at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. and the Kenya Safari Acrobats at 2, 4 and 7 p.m. The Terrance B. Mentalist Show will be at 6 p.m. and the Terrance B. Comedy Hypnosis Show will be performed at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 3 is Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. Foundation Day with a special amusement ride hand stamp in effect from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. for $20. Multi-platinum country music star Travis Tritt performs in front of the grandstand at 7 p.m. for a headline concert featuring such hits as “Here’s a Quarter,” “Help Me Hold On,” “Anymore” and “Foolish Pride,” just a few of the singer’s number one singles.
Monday, Sept. 4 is WRWD 106.9 FM/1230 AM Day with a special amusement ride hand stamp for $15 from noon to 11 p.m. Highlights of the day include an open horse show at 9 a.m. in the horse ring and the Ghent Band performing at 11:30 a.m. at the North Gate Stage. A continuous petting zoo and camel rides by the Eudora Farms Petting Zoo take place throughout the day. A Holiday Cookie Championship coordinated by Nancy Fuller of Food Network’s “Farmhouse Rules” begins at 12:30 p.m. in Four Corners Hall with winners announced at 3:30 p.m. “Hard Luck” performs from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Upper Entertainment Garden and the Painted Pony Championship Rodeo brings it home at 5 p.m. in front of the grandstand.
Exhibits include school work, quilting, fruits and vegetables, photography, Grange, flowers, domestic arts and crafts, scarecrows, sunflowers, wool and a wide variety of 4-H displays and presentations to round out the six-day traditional fair. A Heritage Village features handcrafts of the past including wood carving, paper marbling, book binding, basket weaving and candle making.
For more information go to www.columbiafair.com.