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Altamont Fair comes to town


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

The Altamont Fair opened Aug. 15 and runs through Sunday. Courtesy of Altamont Fair

ALTAMONT — What do racing pigs, a demolition derby, a circus and the American Motor Drome Wall of Death have in common? They are all at the Altamont Fair this week.

The fair, now in its 130th year, opened Aug. 15 and runs through Aug. 20, and has been at the Altamont Fairgrounds since 1893.

This year’s event has many activities from the Royal Hanneford Circus to BMX, carnival rides and games, and motorcycle daredevils performing tricks. There are animal exhibits, displays by the Bethlehem Grange, roaming characters like Peppa Pig and Mickey Mouse, a hypnotist and a lumberjack show, among many others.

And if that’s not enough, check out the Live Shark Encounter exhibit, the caricaturist or the baby animal area.

Attractions, with the exception of carnival rides, are included in the price of admission.

“This year, the admission includes fair admission, attractions, music, museums, and parking,” said Fair Manager Amy Anderson. “Dreamland Amusements is offering unlimited ride wristbands and ride tickets separate from the gate admission. Patrons can now choose how they want to enjoy the fair.”

Admission for the remaining days of the fair, from Friday through Sunday, is $13 at the gate. Children ages 10 and under are admitted at the gate free.

Individual ride tickets are $1.50 each, or you can purchase a bundle of 20 tickets for $30 or 50 tickets for $60. Unlimited ride wristbands are $30.

The fair will include live music each day, with genres from classic rock to punk, heavy metal, country, blues, pop and more. Many of the bands are local to the Capital Region.

“We love to showcase our local talent to entertain our fairgoers,” Anderson said. “Our patrons enjoy a full day of fun at the fair, then continue to enjoy their favorite local performers. The live music in the Main Line Tap Room was such a success last year, we are bringing it back for this year.”

One of the animal exhibits at the fair. Courtesy of Altamont Fair

The first fair in Albany County was hosted in 1819 in the city of Albany, where the Albany Agricultural Society sponsored the Agricultural Jubilee, according to the Altamont Fair website. The earliest fairs focused on livestock.

On Aug. 6, 1892, a public meeting was held in Altamont, where a committee was formed and tasked with looking into hosting an annual fair in the town, and the rest is history.

The first annual Albany County Fair was held in 1893 in Altamont and offered harness horse racing. The fair has grown exponentially since those early years and over the past 10 years, more than $1 million has been invested in the fairgrounds’ facilities, including construction of a commercial building, cow barn and administration building.

Here are more images from the first couple of days of the Altamont Fair:

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