177th Annual Long Island Fair Kicks Off in Old Bethpage

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The 177th Annual Long Island Fair at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration will kick off its second weekend from Sept. 28-29 at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage..

The Long Island Fair hours are 10:00am-5:00pm. Entrance fees are $15 for adults, $13 for children from ages 5-12 and seniors of at least 60 years of age. Children four years old and under get in free.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Legislator Arnold Drucker kicked off the fair on Friday, Sept. 20 alongside performers, animals and reenactors. “Nassau County is proud to be the home to New York State’s oldest fair,”Executive Curran said. “Bring the whole family down this weekend and next weekend to enjoy some wholesome family fun at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Enjoy a stroll through the village alongside the old-time reenactors to explore the butterfly and craft exhibits and journey to the fairgrounds to enter the corn husking contests, cheer on the pig races, enjoy the circus and magic shows, and much more.  We are very fortunate to have a historic cultural attraction in our very own backyard.” 

According to Legislator Drucker, the fair is meant for the people of Nassau County to celebrate the area’s roots while also marking the changing of the seasons and having fun together as a family. “I hope everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the vendors, exhibits and attractions being presented at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, a gem in our community that brings the past alive all year long through captivating historic events and educational programs”, Legislator Drucker said.

Among the many attractions for visitors are magic and circus shows, a petting zoo, camel rides and historical entertainment. Stilt walkers traverse the grounds, and entertainers attempt to delight families with puppets, juggling and storytelling. These festivities continue a 177-year tradition.

Attractions such as livestock shows, corn husking and scarecrow making contests, tractor rides, Islip Horseman’s Association Long Island Drill Team and Rough demonstrations are meant to take attendees back to another era.

Visitors may also find entertainment from the “Aquabatics High Dive Show,” pig racing, a BMX bicycle stunt show, “The Butterfly Experience,” and other games, races and contests.

Several interactive exhibits and displays will also be available. These include a marine touch tank and new ways to make a smoothie. Visitors can also learn how to take better care of their pets and get up close to farm animals. These exhibits and displays come thanks to the county’s partnership with 4H/Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Ten minutes after every hour there will be a program by Cornell’s Master Gardeners and nutritionists in the “Ten on the Tens” tent just outside the Livestock/4H building. Across the way, children will have have the option of being a Farmer for a Day.  

The Long Island Fair is the New York State-recognized county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, and involves the cooperation of the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Thousands of exhibits are entered every year in friendly competition, with blue ribbon categories including livestock, flowers and vegetables from farms and home gardens, culinary, needlework, hobbies, and a junior division for those 13 and younger. This year’s competitions will also include an “Advanced” category for new professionals, novices and students who are serious about their craft. Entries in this category will require a fee, with generous first, second and third place prizes. Judges will be required to submit credentials in the specific classes.

This fair is unique among New York State County Fairs in that it maintains much of the historical feel of the 19th century. The fair was founded in 1842 and became known as the Queens County Agricultural Fair, but soon after was called the Mineola Fair when it moved to a permanent location in Mineola in 1866. The fair moved to Roosevelt Raceway in 1953 and to the newly opened Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 1970, where it’s held on a 12-acre recreation of the original Mineola Fairgrounds.

Information courtesy of the Office of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

 

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