The first week in August is almost upon us, and you know what that means: The venerable Ulster County Fair will be returning to the Ulster County Fairgrounds, just west of New Paltz. Six Flags over the Wallkill it ain’t, but the Ulster County Fair offers all the wholesome sorts of entertainment that one expects from such an event: competitions for the healthiest-looking, best-groomed cow or goat or rabbit or hen, or the tastiest pie, pickle or preserve; thrill rides and games of chance; horse shows and tractor pulls; racing pigs, chainsaw artists, a juggler and a petting zoo. There are food trucks galore, not to mention those gloriously thick milkshakes prepared by teenage 4-H Clubbers to raise funds for their activities.
Opening Day, Tuesday, August 2, is Carload Night, with up to eight people per car admitted for $40, beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday night brings a fireworks display, and on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seniors get in free. Live music performances in the Entertainment Area will include Hot Rod on Tuesday, the Cadillac Three on Wednesday, Lee Greenwood on Thursday, Branch and Dean on Friday, Courtney Cole on Saturday and Craig Wayne Boyd on Sunday.
Other than Tuesday, the Fairgrounds open at 10 a.m. and the rides begin operation at 11. The gates close at 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 12 midnight on Friday and Saturday and 8 p.m. on Sunday. Your $15 wristband gets you into all midway rides, shows and entertainment for the entire day, and parking is free. For the full schedule and lots more details, visit https://ulstercountyfair.com.