County fair’s are a staple of American Life. They occur in every state, and in most counties as well. Historically they were a way to gather and pass along information on a variety of topics important to agriculture. In Orange County, the idea of a fair began as early as 1808, but it would not be until 1818 when the first fair would be held. It was not all sunshine and rainbow, there were many starts and stalls during the next decade or two. It would not be until 1841 when the Orange County Agricultural Society was created did the fair have a chance to become a part of the area.
As the oldest of the NY State county fairs, it also started the same year as the NY State fair. The fair boasts many accolades, including a distinction for having the oldest dirt racing track in America.
And like all fairs, there are rides, and games, and concessions, contests and animals. What county fair does not have animals? Animals are a part of the landscape, there are milking cows, and bulls, and the biggest, or smartest hog contests at many fairs. This year there were many exotic animals at the fair, there were lemurs and birds to zebu’s, which are a sort of small cow, they had miniature horses, and donkeys, and many other kinds of animals. Some of them were in a petting zoo that gives kids a chance to be very close to an animal, some were in large enclosures, and still, others were available to ride by visitors.
Another usual kind of event at fairs is music, and that varies from place to place, and even year to year as to what kinds of music is appreciated and popular. Many fairs can’t either afford or book the most popular or famous bands, so there are always tribute bands, who work hard to give the fans a close to the real experience of a particular band. This year among the many that were booked, there was a Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine tribute band called “Gloria’s Miami Sound.” They were very good at giving a great performance for the fans that were in attendance.
Finally, all fairs are a place to get traditional, local foods. This year was no exception, as there was Chinese, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Traditional American fare as well. There were corn dogs, and burgers, as well as Chinese Dumplings, and Shish-Ka- Bobs. This year’s fair runs from July 14th, thru July 21st, 2018. There were many attractions, rides, game booths and bands to suit almost any taste.