MORRISONVILLE - Though a couple bucks can't get you much these days, it can get you some high-quality entertainment that's fun for the whole family - only at the Clinton County Fair.
The fair will return to the Clinton County Fairgrounds Tuesday, July 20, through Sunday, July 25, celebrating its 63rd year. And, just as the fair's tradition has been to bring events, shows and activities to wow people of all ages, it's again focusing on being affordable, said fair manager Glenn J. Gillespie.
The Mega Pass has returned this year, as a means of keeping costs down for fairgoers. The pass - which went on sale June 20 and will only be available until the start of the fair - allows people admission to the fair any one day of the week and includes rides all day long. The pass is being sold at Price Chopper stores in Plattsburgh and Champlain.
The price of admission to this year's grandstand events will also be kept at an affordable level, said Gillespie. The grandstand, which will be sponsored by Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, will kick off Tuesday with "Yesterday," a Beatles tribute band performing on the Casella Waste Management Stage, along with the Champlain Valley Classic Cruisers car show.
"I listened to their tape and I swear I thought they were just dubbing the original Beatles," said Gillespie. "People are going to be astonished."
Admission for that performance - sponsored by WIRY Hometown Radio, AT&T, and Econo Lodge Inn and Suites - will be $5. The show will be followed by fireworks at dusk.
The fair will also feature a crepe eating contest Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m., sponsored by Amier's Kabob Restaurant. Cash prizes will be awarded for first and second place, as well as free ice cream for the winners at the fair for the rest of the week.
On Wednesday, among the headlining events are qualifying rounds in the Guitar Hero Contest, which returns this year sponsored by Tammy Perotte-Sears of RE/MAX North Country, Aaron's Sales and Leasing, and Reality Check. Qualifying will be held from 4-7 p.m. on the Stewart's Shops Gazebo, with the finale slated for Saturday from 12-3 p.m.
Also on Wednesday, North Country Has Talent, a new talent competition for the fair, will be in the spotlight at the Curtis Lumber stage, with qualifying beginning at 7:30 p.m.
"If they can touch their tongue to their head or juggle or whatever their talent may be, we want to see it," said Gillespie.
The contest - sponsored by Pepsi, Adirondack Tobacco Free Network, Wal-mart, 97.5 Eagle Country, Reality Check, and Kneucraft Fine Jewelry - will wrap up with a finale Thursday at 8 p.m. The finale will have prizes of $500 cash and a $500 gift certificate to Kneucraft Fine Jewelry for first place, $500 cash for second, and $250 for third.
On Wednesday night, the grandstand will feature a performance by country music artist Justin Moore, sponsored by Econo Lodge Inn and Suites, 97.5 Eagle Country and Key R-D Trailer Sales.
"The phones have been ringing off the hook for him," said Gillespie.
The fun continues Thursday, with major events including a performance by local rock band "Motion of the Ocean" from 12-4 p.m. on the Curtis Lumber Stage and a horse pull at 3 p.m. One of the fair's returning favorites, a michigan eating contest sponsored by McSweeney's Red Hots, will begin at 5 p.m. Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded to first, second and third places, respectively.
On Friday, the main event will be a street legal truck pull at the Casella Waste Management Stage in front of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Grandstand, sponsored by Budweiser, beginning at 6 p.m. The event is back for its fourth year with free admission.
Several other events are planned for Saturday, including an FFA judging contest for students at 9 a.m., and a Legacy Paintball match behind the fair office from 12-2:30 p.m. The day will also include a tractor pull by the Adirondack Tractor Pullers Association sponsored by Dragoon's Farm Equipment and New York State Electric and Gas at the Casella Waste Management Stage, beginning at 3 p.m.
On Sunday, the final day of the fair, the highly-sought-after annual Demolition Derby will return for two shows, to be held at 1 and 7 p.m. Admission will be $6 per show or $10 for a pit pass for admission to both shows. The event will be sponsored by Budweiser, Rent-A-Wreck and WOKO 98.9.
On opening day, admission will be $2 for ages 4 and older. Donations of nonperishable food item for the Plattsburgh Interfaith Food Shelf are encouraged with admission.
Wednesday will be "Children's Day" at the fair, with free admission for children ages 11 and younger. Wristbands will also be sold for unlimited rides all day, courtesy of Reithoffer Shows, for $18 each or $17 with a coupon. A similar offering will be held Thursday night with "Evening Madness" as wristbands will be sold for $15, allowing wearers unlimited rides from 7 p.m. to close that night.
On Friday, the fair will host "Senior Day," offering discounted admission for senior citizens ages 62 and older. Friday will also be "Special Day for Special People," with free admission for the mentally-challenged and half-price admission for counselors and guardians, with proof of group required. Wristbands will be sold again for unlimited rides all day.
The fair's tradition of offering free daily shows will also continue this year. Shows will include performances by children's entertainers Buffalo Barfield, Pipsqueak the Clown, hypnotist Michael Blaine, and an exhibition by Masters of the Chainsaw Sculptors, with works up for auction Sunday at 4 p.m. New this year will be shows three times daily by Swifty Swine Racing Pigs, sponsored by Ormsby Realty and Adirondack Energy/Adirondack Waste Solutions.
Free harness racing at the grandstand Wednesday, as well as FFA shows, horse shows, cattle shows and numerous 4-H exhibitions will also round out the fair, as well as daily 50/50 drawings.
"There are few fairs that offer harness racing anymore and we are one of them," said Gillespie.
A returning favorite will be a nightly sawdust pile where people of all ages will be able to hunt for coins hidden in a large pile of sawdust. Gillespie said $100 in coins is hidden each day before the start of the contest leading to great anticipation prior to the event.
Local bands will also perform throughout the six-day event, with acts including Roy Hurd, Just Us, Lita Kelly and Jay Lesage, and many more. The B & B Saloon, the only place on the fairgrounds that will serve alcohol, will offer nightly performances by Backroads Band, Part Effects, Just Us, Nite Train, Movin' On, and Denim.
The main support for the hundreds of activities at the fair is due mainly to the generosity of its sponsors, said Gillespie. The full list of sponsors will be posted on the sponsor board at the entrance to the fairgrounds.
"We want to make it affordable for people to come to the fair," said Gillespie. "We're doing our best to help the community have a good time and keep families in the area to have a good, family-oriented time."
The fair will be open daily with events starting as early as 8 a.m. Opening ceremonies for the fair will be held at 6 p.m. July 20. American Idol past contestant Benjamin Bright, will sing the National Anthem.
Events continue to be added to the list of what the 2010 Clinton County Fair will have to offer. For a complete list of displays and a schedule of events, including ticket prices, visit www.clintoncountyfair.com.