GREENWICH, N.Y. -- Billed as an "agricultural tradition for over a century," the Washington County Fair opens today, Monday, and runs through Aug. 26.
Marketed as the third-largest fair in the state, the county fair has its origins in the Greater Cambridge Fair, which was founded in 1890 and was predated itself by the Lake Lauderdale Fair.
In 1947, the Cambridge fair merged with the Washington County Junior Fair, according to informational material supplied by JoAnne Booth, a board member of today's fair and the chair of an anniversary committee in 2010.
Through the 1950s, the county fair changed locations until 1960, when organizers purchased the original plot where the fair is located today. Numerous additional land acquisitions and buildings expanded the size of the fair to the present day, when annual attendance is pegged at more than 100,000 -- the largest event in the county.
While featuring nearly three dozen rides, more than a hundred concessions and displays, dozens of musical and entertainment acts, a rodeo and full slate of motor sports, the focus remains squarely on agriculture. There are more than a dozen barns housing hundreds of animals, judged shows each day, and demonstrations. "It's all about education and youth involvement with agriculture. The youth are a huge part of it," Booth said in promotional material.
This year's fair begins today, opening at 5 p.m., with the main attraction Monday evening being the demolition derby. General admission remains at $10, while children under 14 are free. For more information, visit www.washingtoncountyfair.com.
-- Zeke Wright