Old favorites are back but there are also a few new conveniences in store at this year’s Columbia County Fair. Visitors can expect the old-fashioned country Fair they remember while enjoying some modern upgrades designed to improve the experience. For starters, a map of the Fairgrounds, along with information about other local features will be available on outRise, a mobile app that “helps people find, create, and share experiences and adventures”. In addition, Fairgoers will find more cell phone charging stations on the grounds this year, as well as three ATM’s.
New and old are also represented in a diverse slate of Fair entertainment. Opening Day features an Antique Tractor Pull, while the “Monster” Tractor Pull, sponsored by ACP Power Equipment, will roar at the Grandstand Saturday afternoon. Stoney Roberts Productions’ Demolition Derby, a crowd favorite, will make for excitement Thursday and Friday evenings. This popular show is sponsored by HudsonValley360.com and Sorros Excavating LLC. A traditional rodeo will round out the Fair schedule at the Grandstand on Monday. Painted Pony Championship Rodeo is sponsored by Mario’s Home Center.
If you’ve come to play, Amusements of America will be back on the Midway, spinning rides and offering up classic carnival games. If you enjoy a little mystery with your entertainment, be sure to check out Jay Mattioli’s magic and Corrie J’s feats of hypnotism. If multi-tasking is your fancy, there’s Neils Dunkier, who injects a bit of lighthearted comedy while showing off his juggling skills.
There are some new things to notice just walking around the 82 acres of beautiful grounds. For the first time in its 180 year history, the Fair was forced to cancel its 2020 run, but the time off was put to good use. Historic buildings were spruced up with a fresh coat of paint, the landscaping received some extra attention, and an overhaul of the Heritage Village was done, making it the final Fair building to be completely refurbished. Fair Manager Angelo Nero said that, “at this moment, the Fairgrounds have never looked better!” Infrastructure improvements this year include a new awning for the entrance to the Show Ring, which will shield both livestock and their exhibitors from the sun as they wait their turn for judging.
The Fair showcases the best of what Columbia County has to offer, and all of it would be impossible without a small army of dedicated folks, who generously put in countless hours of effort to make each year’s event a success. There is an abundance of volunteers – everyone from the 4H, Granges, and Garden Clubs to judges and each venue’s Superintendent – who literally make the Fair happen. Seasonal workers spring into action to support operations before, during, and after the Fair. Participants work all year to perfect their skills, create their masterpieces, or compete in the Show Ring. Corporate sponsors provide the means for the entertainment, contests, exhibits, and other attractions.
The 180th 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.