The entertainment lineup includes Bosco and the Storm, the Ponytails, the Brian Dougherty Band, Pat Horgan and Thunder Road, Madd Dog, Mojo Monde, Gene DiNapoli’s Elvis Tribute, the Cosmic American Derelicts, Sundown, Overdose, Will Hoppey, Side FX, Simply Noted, the New Guys, the Carl Richards Band, Banda Amistad, Third Degree East and on Wednesday afternoon and evening, a karaoke contest for kids and adults with cash prizes.
The Orange County Fair maintains its original purpose in promoting agricultural excellence through a strong 4H involvement and a community of others who exhibit thousands of examples of their efforts, from the best-looking pig to the best-looking potato, plus arts and crafts, flowers and plants, culinary delights and more. Visitors from near and far are expected to fill the halls and tents: “100,000 to 150,000 of them,” estimates Jeff Bauer, head of Fair advertising. “We’ll draw from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as all over New York. There will be even more rides in Strates Shows Carnival [America’s last remaining railroad carnival] this year– and a wolf show, during the entire Fair, three times a day!”
There will also be a petting zoo, racing pigs and Cinco, the five-legged horse. And although 170 years is a long tradition in county fairs – perhaps matched by others in the history-rich Northeast – how many can boast an adjoining automotive racetrack? The Orange County Fair Speedway will provide thrills with stock-car racing, motorcycle and quad racing, a demolition derby and, somewhat incongruously, East Coast pro wrestling!
The Orange County Fair is located at 100 Carpenter Avenue in Middletown. Gates open at 6 p.m. with a $2 admission on Opening Day, Wednesday, July 21. From Thursday the 22nd through Sunday, August 1, the Fairgrounds will be open from 1 p.m. to closing. General admission (with no ride tickets) is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and children from 6 to 12. Kids age 5 and under are free. A $25 all-inclusive pass gets you in the gate and all rides, all day. (Speedway admission is separate; see the website.) For further ticketing and schedule information and directions to the Fairgrounds, see www.orangecountyfair.com or call (845) 343-4826 or (845) 343-4894.