The Essex County Fair begins with the Haulin' Junk Rollover Contest on the fairgrounds in Westport.
Five days of rides, entertainment, games and displays will take place for the 164th year at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport.
The Essex County Fair opens on Wednesday, Aug. 8, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 12.
“We want to remain as the agricultural fair promoting Essex County and promoting the eat local initiative along with providing the entertainment people come to see,” Fair secretary Bertha Rand said. “We have more things coming into the conservation area that will promote forestry as well as displays and events.”
The opening ceremonies of the fair will take place at 5:45 p.m. Aug. 8 at the new cattle barn and show ring, located on the site of the former show ring near the Sisco Street entrance.
“The new building will be housing the cattle as well as the show ring for the 4-H cattle shows and other show events,” Rand said.
On Friday, Aug. 10, the featured performer at the fair will be Terry Lee Goffee, who is a professional Johnny Cash impersonator.
“There was a lady from Keeseville who was calling about tickets because she had seen the show before,” Randy said. “She said that if you close your eyes and sit back, it sounds just like Johnny Cash.”
Some new shows will also be part of the fair lineup this year, including the J.D. Winslow Equestrian Show (Aug. 8-10), Merriloons the Clown and Hot Dog Pig Races.
There will be a bicycle rodeo at the fair Aug. 10 along with bike giveaways each day of the fair.
Also, the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Team will be on hand during the fair Aug. 10, demonstrating proper preparedness and offering advice to those who may still be recovery from the flooding of the past year.
On the opening day of the fair, those who serve as a member of a fire department or emergency squad in Essex County will be offered free admission.
“We wanted to honor the firemen and emergency service volunteers throughout the county,” Rand said. “It’s our way to thank those who are on call to protect us 24-7. We hope that they will come to the fair and enjoy the day and relax on us.”
As part of the firemen and EMS day, the fair’s dedication for 2012 will be to the members of the Westport Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Squad.
“We want to thank them for their continuous service throughout fair week each and every year,” Rand said. “They have quite a responsibility here, and we are very appreciative of everything that they do from being here manning the First Aid Station to working the day of the demolition derby and other events. We could not put on the fair we do without them.”
Back to the fair for 2012 will be the opening night grandstand show, the Haulin’ Jink Rollover contest. Earlier in the day, the annual harness racing card will be held with music between races provided by the Upstate New Yorkers.
Grandstand shows will also include the street legal truck pull Aug. 9, the annual Egglefield Ford Demolition Derby Aug. 11, with the tractor pulls on the horse track and the Essex County Idol competition on the south lawn area Aug. 12.
Other returning features include the baby animal barn, Bubbles and More with Jeff Boyer, petting zoo, Sawdog the Chainsaw Carver and the sugarhouse.
In Floral Hall, there will be exhibits and juried items, along with the return of the Duffer Borden collection of fair memorabilia.
“That was quite popular last year,” Rand said. “There are a lot of interesting pieces that are part of the exhibit.”
The fair will continue to offer $10 admission to the fair, which will include the cost of rides, parking and most shows, according to Rand.
The carload day will be Thursday, Aug. 9, where admission will be $25 from 3 until 9 p.m. for all those who can legally fit into a car (also includes carnival rides).
For more information on the 164th Essex County Fair, visit the website essexcountyfair.org.