ALTAMONT — The Altamont Fair will return to the Capital District for the 123rd year next week, bringing with it many tried-and-true favorites along with a slew of new exhibits.
This year the fairgrounds will host some friendly, four-legged celebrities. The Budweiser Clydesdales will make an appearance at the fair on Saturday, Aug. 20. They will be on display at the fairgrounds from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., the horses will lead the Parade of Champions at the fairgrounds.
Saratoga Eagle, the beer distributors for the fair, reached out to Amy Anderson, the fair manager, and told her that they would have the horses in town for a separate event close to when the fair was being held. Anderson jumped at the opportunity to have the horses visit the grounds.
“I couldn’t say no,” Anderson told TheSpot518. “People are so excited about it.”
This year also features an expanded Farm to Market brew tasting on Thursday and Friday and a wine tasting on Saturday and Sunday. Participating breweries include Albany Distilling Company, the producer of Death Wish Vodka, and Helderberg Mountain Brewing Company. Participating wineries include Brookview Station Winery, Adirondack Winery, and Thousand Islands Winery.
Board member Pat Canaday said that there was a considerable effort to make the fair a place where people will be able to spend the day and be comfortable. She said there was “a conscious effort to make it a more intimate setting.”
“We’re trying to create an environment where people can stay for awhile,” Canaday told TheSpot518.
This year will also feature more small entertainment acts, including a magician, and other activities to engage both children and their parents, including new children’s rides and a baby animal exhibit to go with the existing animal exhibits.
Everyone’s favorite furry and feathered friends will be in attendance as well. The fair will feature a poultry exhibit complete with roosters, and a livestock show that features sheep, goats, and the many rows of colorful, fluffy rabbits. Patrons can also visit the dairy and beef cattle, or the petting zoo to see crowd favorite Twiggs the giraffe along with many other animals. The saloon will be open on Saturday and serving root beer floats for both adults and children, and a barber will be providing haircuts. At the fair will be two new breastfeeding stations as well, and sunscreen will be sold for those who forget it.
Andersen had to walk a fine line while working on the fair this year, noting that she wanted things to change, while also wanting them to stay the same.
“How can we keep the historical value of this museum quality exhibit but bring new life into it?” she said. “I’m really optimistic that it’s really going to be well received.”
The fair will be open Tuesday Aug. 16 to Sunday Aug. 21. Admission is $15 online and at the gate on Tuesday and Wednesday, and $17 at the gate Thursday through Sunday. Wednesday is Senior and Military Day – seniors 65 years and up and members of the Armed Forces receive free admission until 4 p.m.
For more information about the 123rd Altamont Fair, including a detailed daily schedule of events, visit www.altamontfair.com.