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Fair days coming soon to Saratoga County

The Saratoga County Fair, now in its 167th year, is all set to descend upon Ballston Spa in the Saratoga County Fairgrounds. The weeklong exhibition of art, animals and midway fun will run from July 15 to 20, 9 a.m. to midnight, and organizers are once again expecting a turnout of 80,000 to 100,000.

There are a massive number of activities stuffed into the 30-acre fairgrounds, ensuring that this year's fair will offer something interesting for everyone.

The fair's General Manager Dick Rowland says bringing in diverse attractions is a good way to satisfy all.

It's part of my 'shotgun approach' to fairs, he said. "We try to hit something that piques everybody's interest."

There will be horse shows, tractor pulls, culinary demonstrations, a "Science of Agriculture Magic Show," a pie-eating contest, demolition derby, talent shows and many other activities spaced throughout the festival. Also appearing will be a 35-ride midway, brought in by Amusements of America. After noon, $20 will buy you a hand stamp good for unlimited use of the midway rides that day.

For those too young to safely enjoy the midway, there will be kid activities separate from the grown-up rides. A petting zoo should provide entertainment for all ages, and barnyard animals of all types will be present for the duration.

"The animals are the strong part of the fair," said Rowland. "Part of our goal is to educate people about them."

In addition to shows and rides, one can expect to find vendors of all types, art exhibitions and, of course, carnival-style food offerings guaranteed to delight the palate. A beer garden will open at noon each day.

New this year will be a railroad exhibit. There's about 40 feet of railroad track laid on the ground at the fair site, and Rowland says organizers hope to place a caboose there for fairgoers to examine.

Also appearing " and destined to be noticed by almost everyone who comes through the gates " will be new bathroom facilities.

Admission to the fair will run adults $7, with fares increasing to $10 Friday through Sunday. Children 6-12 can enter for $3, and children under 6 get in free. A $25 membership buys admission for all six days.

Visit www.saratogacountyfair.org for a full schedule of events and directions to the fairgrounds.""

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