RHINEBECK — Over the next six days, a town in northern Dutchess County will be the busiest spot in the region as the annual Dutchess County Fair opens for its 176th year.
The fair runs Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the fairgrounds on Route 9.
The agricultural section of the fair features over 1,000 individual exhibitors showing cows, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, jams, jellies, quilts, fine art and more.
Livestock Hill covers 12 acres of fairgrounds and includes 12 barns for dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, goats, poultry and rabbits. There will be three show arenas with full daily schedules of judging, milking demonstrations, wool workshop and sheep shearing.
The fair has planned entertainment in the stands during the six days.
On Tuesday night, up-and-coming country music artist Frank Ray will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the show is free with paid admission to the fair.
Wednesday night Tusk, a tribute band to Fleetwood Mac. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. and admission is also free with paid admission to the fair.
Country-pop singer-songwriter Niko Moon will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night. Admission to the grandstand is free with paid admission to the fair.
Friday night is the fair’s headlining show. Nation favorite Chris Janson performs at the Grandstand at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for Janson’s show are $47 at the door. The concert ticket includes entry to the lounge.
The All-American Rodeo occurs on Saturday and Sunday. Shows are at noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Rodeo tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the grandstand.
Food is one of the main reasons visitors to fairs cite their favorite part. The Dutchess County Fair lists 73 food vendors on site this year. There will also be hundreds of merchandise vendors to choose from.
Free entertainment at the fair this year includes: Two by Two Animal Haven; Fluffy the T-Rex; Commerford Children’s Zoo; dock dogs; Pawstars Canine Frisbee Dogs; Hilby: The Skinny German Juggler; K9 Sheriff Demo; the racing pigs of Rosaire; Andy Rotz’s Wild West Showdown; and Oscar the traveling robot.
Powers Great American Midways will feature dozens of rides and games. This is the 15th consecutive year that Powers has been the channel partner of the fair.
Admission tickets are $18 at the door. Children 11 and under are free.
On Wednesdays, senior admission 65 and over and military service with ID cost $12 at the door. Ride All Day wristbands are $30.
The Dutchess County Agricultural Society was established in 1841 with a $157 grant from the New York State Legislature. The mission of the Society was “to pursue the development of agriculture, household manufactures and household products”.
The first official fair was held in Washington Hollow in 1842.
In 1919 the fair moved to Springbrook Park in Rhinebeck, the current location of the fair. In 1950 the reincorporated Dutchess County Agricultural Society purchased Springbrook Park and renamed it Dutchess County Fairgrounds. The facility has since grown to 147 acres.