The Dutchess County Fair opens Tuesday; Food, race pigs and more

It’s all coming back this week.

The attractions. Fried foods. Racing pigs. musical acts. 4-H milkshakes.

The 176e The Dutchess County Fair returns Tuesday with new attractions dotted among long-time favorites.

Doors to the six-day fair — the second-oldest county fair in the state and regularly the second-largest with about 300,000 attendees each year — open at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Rhinebeck Fairgrounds.

Day one entertainment will be headlined by “America’s Got Talent” winner, singer and ventriloquist Darci Lynne, who will perform her family show at 7:30 p.m. for an additional fee.

Most of the week’s shows will be free, included in the regular ticket price, including concerts by Fleetwood Mac tribute band Tusk and Nashville recording artist Niko Moon, who topped multiple charts with his lead single “Good Time”, among other live artists.

The All American Rodeo Company Rodeo, featuring bull riding, bronc riding and barrel racing, will be presented twice on Saturday and once on Sunday for $5 and children under 6 free. Youngsters aged 4 to 7 can participate in the fair’s “Stick Pony Rodeo” on August 28 starting at 1 p.m. This is an event in which children have the chance to compete like real cowboys.

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Fairgoers enjoy the games at the 175th Dutchess County Fair on August 24, 2021.

What else can you do?

Explore Cattle Hill: Spread over 12 acres of fairgrounds, the area includes 12 barns housing dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, rabbits and more. There are three show arenas, with a full daily judging schedule. Visitors can experience milking demonstrations, a wool workshop and sheep shearing.

Discover a garden: The 147-acre fairgrounds include a dozen themed gardens. The horticulture center features waterfalls and ponds filled with koi carp and colorful water lilies.

Jump on a lap: Powers Great American Midways is back for the 15th year with thrill rides, kiddie rides, games and more.

Visit Century Museum Village: No visit to the fair is complete with a trip to the past. This feature of the fair includes costumed “storytellers,” a printer’s shop with a working 1900 printing press, a drawing room filled with Victorian furniture, and a rural kitchen. At the Model-T-era Auto Shop, customers can observe repairs in progress.

Stop for a bite: The other star attraction? Fair food! Expect everything from soft serve to caramel apples, pulled pork to fried Brussels sprouts, fried pickles, jerk chicken, bubble tea and, of course, roasted fresh corn.

How can you attend?

Terri Herr of Taste Budds Cafe pulls out a new tray of scones from the oven during the 175th Dutchess County Fair on August 24, 2021.

The fair will be open every day from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door; those who order tickets online before Tuesday will receive a discount.

Adult admission at the door is $18. Children 11 and under are free. On Wednesdays, seniors 65 and older and those with military ID can enter for $12.

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Visitors to Fairgoers shop vendors at the 175th Dutchess County Fair on August 24, 2021.

Wristbands for unlimited rides cost $30. Individual tickets for the rides can also be purchased halfway through.

Find a full list of attractions, as well as visitor FAQs at dutchessfair.com/the-fair/visitor-info. All events will take place rain or shine.

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