The Saratoga County Fair, which earlier this spring ruled out holding a conventional six-day county fair because of continuing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced it will hold a three-day agricultural event at the fairgrounds in Ballston Spa on the weekend of July 23-25.
The fair, which is a non-profit organization, has struggled financially because the 2020 fair and other events at the fairground were cancelled last year, and the fair board has been looking for a way to hold some kind of event that fulfills the mission of a county fair — to promote and educate the public about the quality of local agriculture and provide shows and demonstrations.
“We’ll be taking it back to our roots as an agricultural fair wherein we will host scheduled animal shows; truck, tractor and lawn mower pulls; demonstrations; and of course, your favorite fair foods,” said Tammy Ballestero, president of the Saratoga County Agricultural Society, which owns and operates the fairgrounds. More details on ticket sales and event schedules will be released later, she said.
The fair board is also hoping current COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings will have loosened further by late July.
“As restrictions related to COVID-19 loosen, we will work to add more to our schedule of events,” Ballestero said in a statement. “Planning of the fair very much remains underway, as we continue to navigate working with the current and ever changing rules and regulations set forth by New York State and local guidelines.”
It is also anticipated that the historically popular 4-H chicken barbecue will be able to take place on Thursday, July 22, the night before the fair opens. That barbecue is traditionally held at the fairgrounds on the Thursday of fair week.
The Saratoga County Fair is traditionally the first fair of the summer in the Capital Region; fairs held in late August are still hoping to be able to have full fairs, or something close to them, in 2021.
Fair officials have also announced the launch of a “21 Event” fundraiser to raise money toward construction of a new grandstand, after the old grandstand was demolished last fall due to structural safety issues. The 21 agricultural society board members are each being asked to contact 21 people by May 21, and raise an average of $21. The goal is raise enough money to match a $10,000 challenge grant that the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors has offered.
Donations made out to the Saratoga County Agricultural Society may be mailed to the fair at 162 Prospect St., Ballston Spa NY, 12020.