Angelo Nero, Secretary of the Columbia County Agricultural Society, can’t say enough about the sponsors of the Fair. “They make everything possible,” he explains. “It’s their enthusiasm and participation that help us bring everything together – from grounds maintenance to feed in the Poultry Barn, they make it happen. Plus, they tell us over and over how much they love the Fair so we work as hard as we can to earn their continued participation.”
Once sponsors get involved, they tend to stay on board. More than 50 local businesses support the Columbia County Fair in some way. From a small ad in the Premium Book to a major presence behind Main Stage entertainment, Columbia County businesses have been an integral part of this annual agricultural event since it began 179 years ago.
To get a sense of just how integral, here is a list of all who have contributed and what they are underwriting. It’s not a coincidence that this also acts as a rundown of all the entertainment one can find at the Fair.
Platinum Level Sponsors: Parade and Main Stage entertainment – Colarusso & Son, Inc., Frankie Ballard & Moriah Formica – Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. Foundation.
Gold Level Sponsors: Painted Pony Rodeo – The Cat 98.5, School Girl Queen Competition – CGCC Dean of Students, Monster Tractor Pull – Hudson River Tractor, Demolition Derby (Wed.) – HudsonValley360.com, Demolition Derby (Thurs.) – Madsen Overhead Doors, Parade/Ice Cream Eating Contest – Stewart’s Shops, Main Stage entertainment – Peckham Industries, Inc, Fair entertainment – WGNA 107.7FM.
Silver Level Sponsors: Painted Pony Rodeo – Broadway Garage, North Gate Stage Events – CMH, Media Sponsor – Mid-Hudson Cablevision, Wool Booth – Pepsi Bottling Group of Albany, Pavilion/Amateur Craft Beer, Wine & Cider – S. T. Hudson’s Son Plumbing & HVAC, Demolition Derby (Thurs.) – W & B Golf Carts
Bronze Level Sponsors: Sheep & Poultry Shows – Agways of Chatham-Millerton-Claverack- Gt. Barrington, Quilt Show – Bank of Greene Cty. Foundation, North Gate Stage bleachers – “Choose Columbia” – CEDC, Schoolhouse Exhibit – CGCC PR Dept., Racing Pigs – Crossroads Ford, Amateur Craft Beer, Wine & Cider – Harvest Connection, Records and Burpee Children’s Zoo – Herrington Fuels, North Gate Stage Events – Kinderhook Bank, Boy & Girl Scouts – MetzWood Ins., Heritage Village/Antique Machinery – Mulhern Gas, Painted Pony Rodeo – Pine Haven Skilled Nursing, Racing Pigs – Valley Energy.
Friends Level Sponsors: Truck Pull – ACP Power Equip., Sunflower Contest – Berkshire Bank, Dairy Cattle Show – Carolina-Eastern Vail, Harvest Hall/Giant Pumpkin Contest – Chatham Hardware, Flower Show – Claverack Pump Service, North Gate Stage bleachers – COARC, Fish Tank Display – Col. Cty. Sportsmen’s Federation, Tourism – Col. Cty. Tourism, Dairy Cattle Show – Country Life Real Estate, Beef Cattle Show – Dell’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C, Talent Show – Erie & Niagara Ins., Talent Show – Kneller Ins., Harvest Hall – Kozel’s, Domestic Arts & Crafts – Pattison, Koskey, Howe & Bucci, Photo Contest – Photo Art by Ken Bovat, Flower Display – Samascott’s, Media Sponsor – The Columbia Paper, Cattle Area – Tractor Supply, Scarecrow Contest – Trustco Bank
Promotional Consideration: Price Chopper Markets, Taconic Valley Lawn & Garden, Local Agways
There are plenty of advantages to Fair sponsorships. Supporting an exciting, old-fashioned country fair creates a positive environment, associates a business with wholesome family fun and pride in local family farms and agriculture. Community goodwill is a natural benefit as is cost-effective advertising – between 65,000 and 70,000 people are expected to attend the Fair – between Wednesday, Aug. 28th and Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 2nd. Depending on sponsorship level, there can also be the additional advantage of billboards, radio exposure, newspaper and website ads, personal banners and more.
“We like to do everything we can to give these folks some recognition,” Nero concludes. “The sponsors are as important to the Fair as the displays, rides, food, entertainment and competitions. We couldn’t do this without them.”