The excitement returns as the 180th Columbia County Fair opens at noon, this Wednesday, September 1st.  Proud to be one of the oldest of its kind in the USA, this year’s old-fashioned country Fair promises to be better than ever.  Whether you are a Fair regular or a first-timer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this fun, family-friendly event.

Musical entertainment tops the bill with classic rock, folk, jazz, and country.  See local favorites on Sunday at the Grandstand’s Main Stage.  Side Show Willie appears from 1:00pm to 4:00pm and Eli’s Gin follows at 6:00pm to 9:00pm.  In the Beer Tent, Acoustic Rye plays Friday evening, the Alex and Azzaam Jazz Band return Saturday afternoon, and Jarod will take over that evening.  Sunday’s lineup includes the Joe Adee Band. and October Rose rounds out the programming on Monday afternoon.

The Ghent Band appears on Monday at 10:00am with their traditional program of marches, overtures, and show tunes.  If DJ’s get you dancin’, you can find Blue Electric DJ spinning tunes on the North Gate Stage on Wednesday, Jeff Ouellette in the Beer Tent Sunday afternoon, as well as Jack the DJ in the Beer Pavilion Thursday through Monday.  (And don’t miss the strolling barbershop quartet!)

Other action at the Grandstand includes the crowd-favorite Demolition Derby on Thursday and Friday at 6:30pm.  An Antique Tractor Pull will take place on opening day at 6:00pm and the “Monster” Tractor Pull roars at 4:00pm on Saturday.  Everyone who loves rodeo won’t want to miss the Painted Pony Championship Rodeo Monday at 5:00pm.

A visit to the Fairgrounds in Chatham is a must-do end of summer ritual where there are memories to be made, and happy moments from the past to relive.  See the best of Columbia county in the Talent Tent and Show Ring as well as the bounty of family farms gathered for exhibit and competition.  Fun for all awaits on the Midway, where Amusements of America stands ready to thrill with their carnival rides and games.  Special ticket passes allow you to pay one price  and ride all day.  Visitors will find a wealth of food options to enjoy, from typical “Fair food” to local specialities.  If you love a parade, The Fire Fighter’s Parade steps off at 11am on Saturday.  And of course, there will be racing pigs, a petting zoo, and feats of juggling, magic, and hypnotism!

The Columbia County Agricultural Society is offering its annual $1000 scholarship again to two eligible county residents who will be entering their senior year of high school this fall.  This year’s application period has been extended to November 1 and winners will be announced later that month.  Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited two or four-year college commencing in fall 2022 and pursuing a field of study related to agriculture.  Applications are available online at www.columbiafair.com but must be submitted to the Fair office in hard copy form.

Visitors are reminded that guests who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 must wear a mask.  Hand sanitizing equipment will be available on the grounds.  The Fair is an entirely non-smoking event, and bag checks will be done upon entry.  See www.columbiafair.com for a list of prohibited items and other details about these policies.

The Columbia County Fair is located off Route 66 in Chatham, NY.  Opening day is Wednesday, September 1, at noon.  The fair ‘always runs over Labor Day’, and concludes on Monday, September 6.

Admission includes parking and all entertainment.  Daily hours are Wednesday: noon to 11PM, Thursday – Monday: 10AM – 11PM.  Seniors Day is Wednesday with special pricing for $5.00 for ALL patrons.  Youth under 18 are admitted for free that day until 4PM.  Daily admission all other days is $10.00.  Children 12 and under are always free. Advance tickets are $8 each and are available at the Fair Administration Office until August 31.

Advance tickets will also be available at branch offices of Bank of Greene County and at Price Chopper from August 1 – August 31. Special ride passes will be sold at the ride ticket booth across from the cattle area at the Fair’s North Gate entrance from noon through closing.  The cost is $15 on Wednesday and Monday and $20 on all other days.

Download the outRise App for a map of the Fairgrounds.  Follow us on Facebook.  The full Fair schedule is available at www.columbiafair.com.