At the Columbia County Fair, the focus is always on what’s “local”.  The annual event serves as a showcase of the pride of the county’s citizens and local family farms.  After an unprecedented year off, opening day has been eagerly anticipated, especially among the local folk who have been busily preparing to exhibit their wares, agricultural products, talent, music, livestock, and handiwork, or prepare for competition in a wide variety of contests.

Admire the handiwork of artists and crafters, sample food and products from local makers, and browse the exhibits by local Granges, Scout Groups, Garden Clubs, and Students.  Maybe you’ll be inspired to start a new hobby at the Quilt show, Wool Booth, or antique farm equipment display.

Prizes will be awarded in a wide variety of areas which include photography, flower arranging, domestic arts and crafts, and Scarecrow making.  There is a competition for the best in wine, beer, and cider, along with fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and giant pumpkins and sunflowers.  For fun, a trophy, and bragging rights, there’s even a watermelon eating contest and an ice cream eating contest!

Columbia County’s Got Talent is the annual talent show sponsored by Kneller Insurance Agency.  On Wednesday, September 1st, singers, dancers, jugglers, and performers of all types and all ages will take the stage to compete for cash prizes as well as the Marilyn Barry Memorial Award.  With the cancellation of a contest at the State Fair this year, this will be the only venue for many, as the Columbia County Fair is one of the very few Fairs holding a competition.  Talent Coordinator Betsy Braley said she is always impressed with the contestants, saying “We are so fortunate to attract so much amazing talent!”

Fair food is the highlight for many visitors and the local focus extends here too.  The majority of the food venues are operated by local owners and organizations this year, making it easy to grab a local beverage and enjoy a home-grown treat.  There is a wealth of options to choose from the food court, and of course, the 4H’ers will continue the tradition of featuring their baked potatoes and yummy milkshakes as well.

You can cheer for the county’s selfless public servants during the Firefighters’ Parade, which steps off Saturday morning at 11am.  Come see our local fire companies, auxiliaries, and vintage and contemporary fire apparatus.  They will be joined by color guard units from police and emergency service agencies, bands, civic and Veteran associations, and other groups proudly participating in this highly popular part of the Fair.

The Columbia County Fair has been recognized as one of the premier county fairs in the state, and that reputation is well-earned.  From the beautifully landscaped grounds to the whirling Midway, all the features of an authentic old-fashioned agricultural fair are part of the proud tradition here.

So come on out and enjoy a classic.  There’s no better way to experience the bounty of Columbia County and enjoy a day of family fun than a visit to the Fairgrounds in Chatham.  It’s all here and all local and all included in the price of admission!

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.

Follow us on Facebook.  The full Fair schedule and additional information is available at www.columbiafair.com.