It’s T-minus-14-days until the launch of the Saratoga County Fair, the first of the Capital Region’s big agricultural and entertainment expositions.
This year, the fair’s 172nd, the featured acts will include Alaskan grizzly bears and a return of Johnny and the Triumphs, a popular regional rock band.
In an effort to avoid competition with racing at the Saratoga Race Course season, the fair has been held in mid-July in recent years, putting it a week or more ahead of the Cobleskill Sunshine, Altamont and Fonda fairs.
This year, the fair will open at the 30-acre Prospect Street fairground on Tuesday, July 16, and run through Sunday, July 21.
“It’s definitely an advantage,” fair general manager Jeff Townsend said of the early position. “There’s always a lot of excitement. Fairs are destination events. We attract people from all over the Capital Region.”
Last year, the fair drew just under 90,000 people, prompting officials to add additional parking on Fairground Avenue.
Fair officials on Monday announced their major entertainment and musical acts.
The new events include an Alaskan grizzly bear show with live bears, “The Magic of Agriculture” magic show, and comedy hypnotist Brad Matchett.
Returning entertainers include Rosaire’s Royal Racing Pigs, now in their 18th year at the fair, chainsaw carver Brian Ruth, the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, and the petting zoo.
Grandstand shows include demolition derbies Tuesday and Sunday; tractor pulls Wednesday; and pro rodeo Thursday and Friday. There will be four-wheel-drive truck pulls Saturday.
Bands playing at the music building will be Eliminator on Tuesday; Chelsea Cavanaugh on Wednesday; Skeeter Creek on Thursday; Vivid on Friday; Whiskey City on Saturday; and Johnny and the Triumphs, who haven’t played the fair in about a decade, on Sunday.
Townsend said the music pavilion this year will offer private-label apple and strawberry wines from Ledge Rock Hill Winery in Corinth and a private-label beer from Saratoga Brewery. The apple wine and the beer were introduced last year and were popular, Townsend said.
A newly constructed Adirondack rangers’ cabin for nature exhibits will open in the conservation area.
Throughout the fair, there will be a food drive in the Culinary Department as part of an international drive by fair organizations. The food collected during fair week will be distributed to food pantries in Saratoga County.
The fair will run 9 a.m. to midnight each day, with a $10 general admission charge. Midway rides are open noon to midnight.
Tuesday admission will include a free beach bag; Wednesday will include a free e-tablet cover; and Thursday will include a free insulated 16-ounce mug. Wednesday is also Senior Citizens Day, with $4 admission for those age 65 and older until 5 p.m.
Children under 52 inches tall will be admitted free. Admission is also free all week to active-duty military members, with military ID.
Discount tickets are available at Price Chopper locations.
More details are available at www.saratogacountyfair.org or by calling the fair office at 885-9701.