The Altamont Fair is cancelled for the first time since 1943.
“Although we held off making this difficult decision as long as we could, we knew that despite our best efforts to create a safe path to host the Altamont Fair, it is clear we must cancel for this year to do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” said Kathleen Stanton, Albany, Schenectady, Greene County Agricultural & Historical Societies Board of Directors president.
The three-county fair was slated for Aug. 18 to Aug. 23.
The City of Albany hosted the first fair in Albany County in 1819. It was sponsored by the Agricultural Jubilee at the Washington Park and the state Capitol. It was held at different municipalities around Albany County until moving to the now 138-acre Altamont Fairgrounds in September, 1893 — admission was a quarter, and net proceeds for the four-day fair was $884.13.
In 1918, youth under 16 years old were prevented from attending the fair because of a polio outbreak, and it was cancelled in 1943 because of World War II.
The Altamont Fair takes pains to hold onto its agricultural roots with active 4-H participation and a emphasis focus on family farms and agricultural-based competitions and exhibitions.
Of course, there is a huge selection of “fair food,” music, entertainment, rides and carnival games.
“We know the impact of the Altamont Fair cancelation will be felt far beyond our own personal disappointments,” according to a statement by the board. “We will take this next year to prepare for the next Altamont Fair scheduled for Aug. 17 to Aug. 22, 2021. As we all learn to navigate this new landscape, we look forward to brighter, better days ahead when we can gather again to celebrate all that is agriculture and history in the Capital Region.”