Blue ribbons wanted. Whether animal or vegetable, 4-Hers, farmers and future farmers are prepping their entries for submission to competitions at the Columbia County Fair in Chatham. Opening day is Wednesday, August 28th beginning at noon. The Fair runs through Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd.

The lawns are being mowed.  The flower beds weeded, watered and manicured.  The dairy barns have been cleaned.  The straw is being delivered and the daily schedules are printed.  The Columbia County Fair is about to open.

Every year, preparation for the big day begins just days after the last Fair closes.  Discussions of what went well and what could be improved lead to changes on the Agricultural Society’s “To Do” list.  This year, there was some re-design to the office building as well as the replanting of a few good-sized trees giving more shade for Fairgoers.  Conversations about the Horse Show led to improvements for horses and riders (and viewers) by moving the event to the Main Arena.  The entertainment committee reviewed an assortment of major singers before deciding on country singer/songwriter Frankie Ballard, a Nashville recording artist with 3 gold records in his hip pocket.  Ballard will perform on Sunday evening at 7PM.  They also booked a local Voice phenom, Moriah Formica, for a Sunday afternoon show at 3PM.

All over the county, talent hopefuls are honing their acts for “Columbia County Has Talent”.  Youngsters, Teens and Adults who participate can choose to move on to the New York State Fair and try their luck against equally stiff competition.  Those who have a flour-covered thumb can submit cookies, breads and muffins and see how they stack up.  And “green-thumbers” will be picking their prize-winning squash, carrots, cukes, tomatoes, etc.  And GIANT pumpkins.  Don’t forget the GIANT pumpkins.

For fans who prefer V-8s to veggies, the Demolition Derby, Professional Truck Pull, Antique Tractor Pull and Monster Tractor Pull should make enough noise and burn enough fuel to compete with jet engines. There will even be a 99 Race Car on Display.

The Fair has plenty for everyone.  The Firefighters Parade, with more than 40 companies participating, steps off on Saturday at 11AM.  Other acts include a Comedy Hypnotist, the Kenya Safari Acrobats, magician Jay Mattioli, the Painted Pony Rodeo, Racing Pigs, a Barbershop Quartet, Watermelon Eating and more.    It’s fun, entertaining, thrilling, informative and comes with plenty of rides and great food.

The 179th Columbia County Fair was named “Bestie” by readers of Capital Region Living Magazine.  It opens Wednesday, August 28th at noon and runs through Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 2nd.   The Fairgrounds are located on Route 66 (GPS: 182 Hudson Avenue), Chatham, NY.  Admission includes all entertainment and parking.  Daily hours are Wednesday: noon to 11PM, Thursday – Monday 10AM – 11PM.  Daily admission is $10.00.  Sunday, $15.00.  Children 12 and under are always free.  Thursday, seniors can enter for half price until 4PM and youth under 18 are free until 4PM.