It’s that time of year, when livestock displays, pig racing, tractor pulls and bizarre food concoctions are all fair game.
The Saratoga County Fair kicks off Tuesday, the first of several fairs to take place in the coming weeks around the region. From the end of July through Labor Day, there is a fair going on locally almost every weekend, including The Great New York State Fair, just a short drive away in Syracuse.
Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming festivals in the region, and what to check out to make it a fair to remember:
When: July 18-23
Where: 162 Prospect St., Ballston Spa
What to know: Fair season gets underway locally in Saratoga County, with the usual rides, food and entertainment on tap.
Get into the fair spirit with racing pigs, farming demonstrations, talent and eating contests, magic shows and more. Animals on site include a giraffe and baby kangaroo, in addition to the usual livestock.
You can also check out a display of antique circus and carnival equipment, which takes three days for its owner to set up.
When: July 29-Aug. 5
Where: Sunshine Drive, Cobleskill
What to know: The Schoharie County Sunshine Fair offers a demolition derby, rides, musical performances and plenty more.
In addition to the usual fare, the Schoharie County operation offers a chance to get up close with lions and tigers, take a camel or pony ride at the petting zoo and see woodworkers in action, shaping carvings of animals and murals.
When: Aug. 15-20
Where: 129 Grand St., Altamont
What to know: The Altamont Fair will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Fair Committee’s first meeting. The committee first met in an exploratory capacity on Aug. 6, 1892, with the idea of hosting an annual fair in Altamont.
The fair, which represents Albany, Schenectady and Greene counties, will offer rides, entertainment and educational displays. New this year is a day devoted to veterans, an animal exhibit featuring rare white tigers and an expanded agriculture and farming station.
Returning favorites include a baby animal exhibit, a hypnotist and racing pigs.
When: Aug. 21-27
Where: 392 Old Schuylerville Road, Greenwich
What to know: Considered one of the top agricultural fairs in the state, the Washington County Fair is home to more than 1,800 exhibitors, close to 2,000 animals and dozens of rides, shows and food vendors to choose from.
Check the schedule ahead of time, as each day has a different theme with accompanying promotions and events. They include Career and Technical Education Day, Family Day and Carnival Fun Day.
When: Aug. 23-Sept. 4
Where: 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse
What to know: The fairest of them all is spread over two weeks in Syracuse, and includes big-name musical acts, pig races, thrill rides, exotic and familiar food offerings, butter sculptures and 50 cent milk cups.
Each day has a special theme or admissions deal, so check the calendar before making the trip via car or Amtrak. Scheduled performers at Chevy Court, the free concert venue on the fairgrounds, include 3 Doors Down, The Beach Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Blue Oyster Cult and Earth Wind & Fire.
When: Aug. 30-Sept. 4
Where: 21 Bridge St. South, Fonda
What to know: One of the oldest fairs in the region kicks off late in August and runs through Labor Day weekend. Attendees will get a taste of numerous fair staples, including livestock competitions, tractor pulls and plenty of food.
The fair, which is in its 176th year, offers daily promotions, including a couple days of free admission for children 14, a Toys for Tots campaign and free admission for firefighters and military on Labor Day.
New this year is a free, pre-fair dance the night of Aug. 26, which will be preceded by the crowning of the annual Miss Fonda at 7 p.m. Also new is a monster truck and motorcycle show, taking place at 6 p.m. on Sept. 2.
When: Aug. 30-Sept. 4
Where: 69 Stillwater Bridge Road, Schaghticoke
What to know: Showcasing the best of Rensselaer County, the Schaghticoke Fair is celebrating its 198th year of food, rides, animals and more.
The third oldest fair in the state is offering a few special admission deals, including $1 day and Military Appreciation Day on Aug. 30, followed by discounted senior citizen admission on Aug. 31.
Noteworthy displays to check out include a sting ray exhibit, the dairy demonstration and the "Pork Chop Revue," a family show that focuses on the misadventures of acrobatic pigs.