The Columbia County Fair is just around the corner! This year’s event features new attractions as well as the return of old favorites. Plenty of excitement and family-friendly fun awaits Fairgoers of all ages: rides and games of chance on the Amusements of America Midway, agricultural and livestock exhibits and competitions, food and entertainment. The Antique Tractor Pull kicks off the Fair on Wednesday at 4:00pm.
Tribute bands will grace the Main Stage on Sunday, when fans of Tom Petty can once again experience the legendary singer’s music through The BrokenHearted, a tribute band that captures the essence of the late musician’s sound and style. Comprised of seasoned musicians who share a passion for Tom Petty’s music, The BrokenHearted pays homage to the iconic artist by delivering a powerful and authentic performance that leaves audiences feeling like they’ve been transported back in time to the peak of Tom Petty’s career. The band’s lead singer Johnny Clifford channels Petty’s distinctive voice with precision and energy, while the other members of the group provide the driving rhythms and harmonies that make up the signature sound of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The BrokenHearted has quickly built a dedicated following, thanks to their attention to detail and their commitment to recreating the classic songs that fans have come to know and love. From “American Girl” to “Free Fallin’,” the band delivers hit after hit in a high-energy, crowd-pleasing performance. The BrokenHearted will appear at the Grandstand Sunday, September 3, at 4pm.
Raise Your Hands
If you are a fan of Bon Jovi, you will love Raise Your Hands, a tribute band that captures the spirit and energy of the legendary rockers. Raise Your Hands performs all the classic hits and deep cuts from Bon Jovi’s extensive catalog, with authentic vocals, guitars, keyboards, and drums. Whether you want to rock out to Livin’ on a Prayer, sing along to Always, or sway to Bed of Roses, Raise Your Hands will make you feel like you are at a Bon Jovi concert. Don’t miss this amazing show that pays homage to one of the most iconic bands of all time. Raise Your Hands will appear at the Grandstand Sunday, September 3 at 7pm. Main Stage musical entertainment is sponsored by Hudson River Bank Trust Foundation.
There’s more music on the grounds throughout the Fair. Solo artist Marty McDermott will play at the Upper Entertainment Garden, along with Acoustic Rye, Jarrod, the Joe Adee Band, Curtis Buchan, and Beer Stained Fiddle. See the Fair schedule for dates and times.
DJ Jack Bogarski and Electric Blue DJ Bob Hawley will spin tunes at the Pavilion. The Ghent Band takes the North Gate Stage Monday morning at 10:00am with marches, overtures, and show tunes. And of course, the Barbershop Quartet will be strolling the grounds again this year.
The Columbia’s Got Talent competition returns on Wednesday, August 30. Sponsored by Kneller Insurance, the contest will feature performances in three divisions during qualifying rounds held during the day. Trophies, ribbons, and cash prizes will be awarded. Finals are scheduled for 7:00pm that same evening, where one individual will be awarded the Marilyn Barry Memorial Award. There is no entry fee for the competition, but contestants must submit entries by mail or delivery to the Fair office by August 20. All participants must pay admission to the Fair unless they are 12 or under. Further details and complete rules and regulations are available on the Fair’s website.
North Gate Stage entertainment includes lots of magic! The Agricadabra Magic Show features a mix of illusion and fun with New York State agricultural education. Corrie J will amaze with his comedy mentalist/hypnotist show, and David Garrity’s show “Magic and Beyond”, climaxes in a Houdini-style escape challenge. Grayson Matchett Comedy Hypnotist
The Demolition Derby will be held at the Grandstand Thursday and Friday evenings beginning at 6:30pm. One of the Fair’s most popular events, participants will compete for cash prizes with fun themes: Peppa Pig on Thursday and Ninja Turtles on Friday. HudsonValley360.com, W&B Golf Carts,Inc., Madsen Overhead Doors, and Sorros Excavating Company are this year’s proud sponsors.
The Monster Tractor Pull roars back into town Saturday at 4:00pm. Come see what has been described as “the heaviest motor sport in the world” (and maybe the loudest!). Modified, Super Stock, and Super Farm Class tractors, and 4-Wheel Drive trucks will compete for points towards the circuit championship. Sponsored by A. Colaruso and Son.
Of course, you won’t want to miss all the beloved old-fashioned fair experiences: grab and milkshake and stroll through Heritage Hall to see craftspeople hand making items from candles to ironwork; marvel at the talent on display in the quilting booth and wool booth; see the bounty of the county’s farms represented in domestic arts and crafts, vegetables and fruits. The creativity of the Granges, Gardening Clubs, school kids, and local Scouts can be found in their exhibit spaces. Check out the winners of the contests for the best cookies, photos, scarecrows, and sunflowers.
The Columbia County Fair might be best-known for its historic ties to agricultural traditions and support for family farms. 4-H kids will crowd the Show Ring all week with their livestock, showing sheep, pigs, goats, beef cattle, and dairy cattle. Be sure to see the Poultry Building, and its birds and rabbits – as well as the oxen demonstration!
The School Queen competition will be held Friday, September 1st at 6:00pm at the North Gate Stage. This contest is a celebration of school spirit, with entrants from all six of the county’s public schools.
Master of the Chainsaw
New this year is Master of the Chainsaw. Some of the nation’s top professional chainsaw sculptors will dazzle the crowd during their high-energy 45 minute performance, using precision and skill to turn a three foot log into a true work of art.
The 70th annual Firefighters’ Parade will step off at 11:00am Saturday, September 2, sponsored by A. Colorusso and Son and Stewart Shops. This crowd favorite will feature more than 40 units from five counties and three states. The line of march will enter the Fairgrounds at the North Gate after parading through the streets of the Village of Chatham.
As always, the Painted Pony Rodeo will close out the Fair Monday, September 4. The slack rodeo begins at 3:00pm, followed by the main event at 5:00pm. Come for the bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding; stay for the team roping, steer wrestling, and ladies barrel racing. Sponsored by Peckham Industries, Inc. and Mario’s Home Center.
If none of that sounds appealing, there’s also Fair food! The Duct Tape Fashion Show! Kangaroos! Giant Pumpkins! Watermelon and Ice Cream Eating Contest! And of course – Racing Pigs!
The 182nd Columbia County Fair is located off Route 66 in Chatham, New York. Opening day is Wednesday, August 30, at noon. The Fair – “always runs over Labor Day”, and concludes on Monday, September 4. General Admission is $13 and includes parking and all entertainment. Daily hours are Wednesday: noon to 11PM, Thursday – Monday: 10AM – 11PM. Seniors Day and Veterans Day is Wednesday with special pricing at $5.00 for ALL patrons. Youth under 18 and active military with ID or in uniform are admitted free that day. Children 12 and under are always free.
Advance tickets are $10 per single day admission and are available online and at the Fair Administration Office until August 29. Advance tickets will also be available for purchase August 6-29 at all Bank of Greene County branch offices, Price Chopper, and Samascott’s Garden Market in Kinderhook.
Special Ride Passes are available only at the ride ticket booth across from the cattle area near the North Gate Entrance.