Capital Region county fairs 2017

Summer scene fair by Crystal Powell

County fair season in the Capital Region started this week with the Saratoga County Fair in Ballston Spa. And as August arrives, there will be a county fair somewhere around the region pretty much each week through Labor Day.

The fairs have a long history in this area. They've got to be among some of the longest running -- if not the longest running -- annual events. Some of them have been going for more than 175 years.

Here's a rundown of county fairs around the region, with dates, admission info, and whatnot.

Saratoga County Fair
When: July 18-23
Where: Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa.
How much: $12. Season ticket is $40. Shorter than 52 inches is free. Active military free with ID card. Unlimited ride wristband is $20.

This is the 176th year for the Saratoga County Fair. (Though there was an earlier version -- "basically a one day cattle show" -- that ran from 1819-1824.)

Schoharie County Sunshine Fair
When: July 29-August 5
Where: Cobleskill
How much: $15, free for children 2 and under. Eight-day passes are $45. Includes admission and rides. Some concerts are extra.

This is the 141st Schoharie County Sunshine Fair.

Altamont Fair
When: August 16-21
Where: Altamont Fairgrounds in Altamont
How much: Tuesday and Wednesday is $15, Thursday thru Sunday is $17. The one-price admission "includes parking, attractions, Circus Hollywood, music and Unlimited Rides!" Kids under 36-inches tall are free -- but they're not allowed to ride the Midway rides. If you buy tickets ahead of time online for $15 each, they're good for any of the fair days (which could save you $2 Thursday-Sunday). Advance ticket sales end August 11.

The Altamont Fair is the county fair for Albany, Schenectady, and Greene counties. This will be its 125th year.

Washington County Fair
When: August 21-27
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich
How much: Adults $12 ($10 before August 1). Children 13 and under are free. All-week pass is $36 ($33 before August 1). Free admission for all active military service members with military ID.
Admission does not include carnival rides. During the fair, ride tickets are $1.25 each. But if you buy before August 1, you can get 20 ride tickets for $10. Rides take 2 to 5 tickets -- 1 less per ride on Children's Day. Also: On Tuesday of fair week, you can ride all rides from noon-11 pm for $20.

"New York's #1 Agricultural County Fair."

Fonda Fair
When: August 30-September 4
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Fonda
How much: $10 adults, seniors are $5 on Wednesday and Friday, kids 6-11 years old $2, kids under 6 are free. Kids under the age of 14 get in free on on Wednesday and Friday. Unlimited rides for $25 per day. There's also a presale "mega" tickets for $27, which includes admission and all-day rides.

This is the 176th year for the Fonda Fair -- it was first held in 1841. It's the agricultural fair for Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Columbia County Fair
When: August 30-September 4
Where: The Columbia County Fairgrounds are in Chatham
How much: Adults $10 (Sunday is $15). It's $8 every day if purchased by August 20 via mail, or at advance ticket outlets (including Price Chopper and Hannaford) between August 1 and August 30. Kids 12 and under free. Free admission for active military members with military ID or uniform.

This is the 177th Columbia County Fair.

Schaghticoke Fair
When: August 30-September 4
Where: Schaghticoke Fairgrounds in Schaghticoke
How much: Adults $11 (opening day is $1). Season pass is $40. Children 13 and under are free. Unlimited rides pass is $21 Wednesday-Friday, $23 Saturday-Monday. Advance admission tickets are available at Price Chopper August 6-29 -- they're $9 (Thursday-Monday) and unlimited rides tickets are $19 (good for any one day, does not include admission).

The Schaghticoke Fair is the county fair for Rensselaer County. This is the 198th year for Schaghticoke Fair -- it's said to be the 3rd oldest fair of its type in New York State.

(Bonus bit: The Jefferson County Fair (Watertown), first organized in 1817, is said to be the oldest county fair in the state.)

A bit farther afield...

Dutchess County Fair
When: August 22-27
Where: The Dutchess County Fairgrounds are in Rhinebeck (just south of the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge on US 9)
How much: Adults $15 ($10 on Tuesday) / $12 ahead. Kids under 12 are free. Seniors (65+) and military with ID are $10. Special promotion rates include $7 admission after 5 pm on Thursday, $25 ride wristbands on Wednesday. Ride tickets are 4 for $5 and 22 for $20 / 10 for $20 ahead.

The Dutchess County Fair is a bit outside the Capital Region -- it's a little more than a hour's drive south. But we hear it's quite the county fair, and worth the trip if you're a fan of county fairs.

Comments

The Dutchess County Fair is definitely worth the drive - probably the nicest county fair in the state.

Seconding JG's comment. We usually make the trek to Dutchess.

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