County Fair Spotlight: Dutchess County
Rooted in agriculture and community tradition, the Dutchess County Fair began 175 years ago.Year after year the Dutchess County Fair returns to Rhinebeck and draws crowds of over 500,000 people, the second largest county fair in all of New York State. The fair continues to be a Dutchess County staple, and an event that attracts both locals and visitors alike. From the livestock, to the specialty foods and the entertainment, it's truly an experience for the whole family. Rooted in agriculture and community tradition, the Dutchess County Fair began 175 years ago, and it doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.
The fair originated from the Dutchess County Agriculture Society formed in 1842. Its purpose was “to continue the development of agriculture, household manufactured items, and domestic produce”. The fairgrounds in Rhinebeck have become such an iconic location in Dutchess County, that many aren't aware that the fair was originally located in Washington Hollow, a hamlet of Pleasant Valley. Although the success of the fair flourishes today, it didn't come without many years of struggles, including weather conditions that put the Society into debt in 1927 and 1928, and fair cancellations due to World War II 1942. It wasn't until 1950 that the Dutchess County Agricultural Society was able to purchase Springbrook Park, the location of the fair today, which was renamed and is now known as the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.
Having grown to over 147 acres, the Dutchess County Fair commits itself to making constant improvements to its property to provide visitors with a top-notch experience. This year, the fairgrounds even constructed a brand new Welcome Center, equipped with state of the art technology for ticketing. The barn-style building upholds the integrity of the fair and being clearly visible from Route 9, is quickly becoming a landmark that symbolizes the fairgrounds.
This year, the fair will run from August 22nd through August 27th. General fair hours are from 10am – 10pm, but be sure to check the daily schedule for more details. The list of vendors and attractions includes agriculture, horticulture, arts and crafts, antiques, crafts food and beverages, rides, live music and so much more. Start planning your trip to the Dutchess County Fair and purchase tickets here.
Although the Dutchess County Fair may very well be one of the most popular events, the fairgrounds host a number of happenings throughout the year. These events include the Hudson Valley Autism Walk & Expo, Rhinebeck Antique Car Show & Swap Meet, Northeast Outdoor Sports Show, Country Living Fair, Rhinebeck Crafts Festival, Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival, Hudson Valley Sheep and Wool Festival and so much more. For more information on the Dutchess County Fair, and to find out more about the other events taking place at the fairgrounds, visit their website at www.dutchessfair.com or wwwdutchesstourism.com .