EASTON — The tents are up; the carnival rides are tilting, whirling and spinning; the barns and stalls are ready for the cows, pigs, horses, goats and sheep arriving this weekend; and the exhibition spaces and grounds are bursting with life and color.
That’s right, it’s just about Washington County Fair time.
At 5 p.m. Monday, the fair, located on Old Schuylerville Road in Easton, just over the Greenwich line, officially opens with many familiar events and exhibits, plus a load of new things to experience, including “Instagram moment” props for posing or popping faces through holes cut out from large art sprinkled throughout the fairgrounds.
“Everyone is working so hard to get the fair open,” Rebecca Breese, marketing and sponsorship coordinator. “The (Board) Directors are rolling up their sleeves and working with the full-time crew.”
Dubbed “New York’s No. 1 Agricultural Fair,” it runs through Aug. 25, with a packed schedule of events and activities. And at this time, the National Weather Service predicts a nice weather week, with a handful of days in the 70s.
While there is a small percentage of rain on a few days, fair officials point out that there are many undercover events and exhibits.
During a Wednesday golf cart tour of new and special places, Breese is thrilled with the brand new horse arena and seating, the presentation area where producers will demonstrate things like how to home brew beer, and the hay bales that will be transformed into art like a giant ice cream cone for fairgoer photo ops.
“We want to make sure everyone gets to experience the smells, sights, lights of the fair,” said Breese.
After a stop at the arts building and a chat with volunteers Norma Saville and Marjie McDougall, who have curated this space for decades, it was easy to envision how the various art displays will fit together on Monday.
According to McDougall, the arts exhibits come in on Saturday and then they are judged.
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“The show is actually assembled on Monday,” she said, adding that naysayers often wonder how they will complete the show before opening on the same day.
But they always get it done, she said.
Reminiscent of agricultural fairs of the the 1950s and 1960s, the Washington County Fair embraces local riches: food, farmers, businesses and artisans.
“It’s a place to see your neighbors,” said General Manager Mark St. Jacques, adding that they also embrace the new and innovative in agriculture. “It’s a big social that goes back to the traditional agricultural fairs. But we have to stay with the times tied to agriculture.”
Breese said the fair is fortunate to have Amusements of America again this year. Since 2000, that have provided all the midway rides.
“It is a family-run business,” said Breese.
And don’t forget the must-stop fair food: Sizzling hot french fries, cotton candy, sausage and peppers, maple dough, corn dogs, ice cream and funnel cakes, to barely name a few.
“The big thing this year, the vendors will use the local, made in New York signs,” she said, adding that the fair is a good place to learn about how local food is produced.
Some of the highlighted events for the week include livestock events, bands, a rodeo, giveaways, a rooster crowing contest, a Vietnam Veteran’s ceremony, tractor pulls, farming and 4-H demonstrations, chainsaw and glass blowing art, to name a few.
On tap for Monday are youth dressage, Stoney Roberts Demolition Derby and the band Greene Brothers.
Tickets are $12 for adults and kids age 13 and younger are free. A weeklong pass is $36.00; parking is free.