While there won’t be a county fair this year at the fairgrounds in New Paltz, there will be county fair fireworks on August 4. Town supervisor Neil Bettez announced last week that with the assistance of police officers and members of the town’s youth program, residents are invited to drive to the fairgrounds that evening, where the gates will be opened at 7:30 p.m. and the show is scheduled to begin an hour later. Social distance guidelines are to be complied with during the festivities.
Bettez confirmed later that this is not the successor to the taxpayer-funded fireworks that usually fall near — but never on — the fourth of July. With mounting budget challenges, the supervisor made it clear in 2019 that the only way to afford fireworks is if local people volunteer to secure donations to pay for it. There were no fireworks this year, and it’s unclear how the pandemic might impact fundraising efforts for next year.