The annual Ulster County Fair will return to its home in New Paltz at the County Fairgrounds on Libertyville Road this Tuesday, July 29, remaining in town through Sunday, August 3. It will, of course, have all of the things that one expects to find at a county fair: live music, prizewinning livestock, carnival rides and food trucks offering every kind of guilty pleasure that one can ingest.
Familiar favorites will also return: The racing pigs are back, four times a day, along with the Two-by-Two Zoo, featuring ring-tailed lemurs, kangaroos, pythons, parrots, goats and more. The USDA-licensed exotic animal exhibit travels to events like the fair to educate the public on conservation and endangered animals.
And the youth from local 4-H clubs always have a big presence. In addition to their horse show and livestock auctions and competitions, they will have artwork, photography and woodworking on display. Selected projects with blue ribbons will advance to represent Ulster County at the New York State Fair in Syracuse.
The 4-H Snack Bar, “Home of the $5 Meal Deal,” is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The 4-H Milkshake Booth will offer the standard chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors along with a special of the day. Booth hours are Tuesday from 4 to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All proceeds benefit Ulster County’s 4-H youth programs.
The Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County will be on hand each day to answer gardening questions and to identify plants, plant diseases and insects. Look for them in the Horticulture Building, where they’ll have displays of a variety of locally grown, award-winning fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The Ulster County Fair also puts on a lot of informative and entertaining presentations throughout the week. There will be demonstrations on how to preserve food by canning, how to grow great garlic, a Knitting for Beginners demo, a hula-hooping contest, a “Dancewith Werewolves” performance art presentation, fruit- and vegetable-carving demos and tomato variety tastings.
Live music is included in the cost of admission. Thursday, July 29 at 7 p.m. will feature Mister Kick; Wednesday, July 30 at 8 p.m., Neal McCoy; and Thursday, July 31 at 8 p.m., Chris Cagle. There will be two shows on Friday, August 1 at 4 and 8 p.m. with the Lost Trailers and two shows on Saturday, August 2 at 4 and 8 p.m. with Katie Armiger. Josh Thompson will close the fair out on Sunday, August 3 with one show at 5:30 p.m.
Other live entertainers include the Kent Family Magic Circus – nine talented family members billed as a hybrid of circus, theater and vaudeville (no tigers, lions or elephants) – and chainsaw artists who will turn three-foot logs into art. Then there’s the Barnyard Cackle Review, featuring Rocky Da Rooster and his singing hens Tanya Clucker, Loretta Hen, Patty Eggless, Reba MacEggtire, Patsy Coop and Sh’nia Twang. Fireworks go off on Wednesday evening at dusk.
All events are subject to change, so checking the schedule on the website is advisable before heading out.
Opening day is Tuesday, July 29 at 4 p.m. There is “carload” pricing that day: $40 per car, no matter how many people are inside it. The rest of the week, Wednesday, July 30 through Sunday, August 3, the gates open at 10 a.m. and admission costs $15 for kids and adults. Rides open at 11 a.m. Tickets include free parking, all the entertainment and unlimited rides on the midway attractions. Thursday, July 31 is Seniors’ Day, with all seniors admitted free of charge from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair will stay open until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, until midnight Friday and Saturday and until 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Ulster County Fair, Tuesday, July 29, 4-10 p.m., Wednesday/Thursday, July 30 & 31, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday/Saturday, August 1 & 2, 10 a.m.-12 midnight, Sunday, August 3, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., $15 Wednesday-Sunday, $40/carload Tuesday, seniors free Thursday before 4 p.m., free parking, Ulster County Fairgrounds, 249 Libertyville Road, New Paltz; (845) 255-1380, www.ulstercountyfair.com.