Franklin County's 161st county fair starts today at the county fairgrounds in Malone, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 14.
Essex County's 163rd county fair starts Wednesday, Aug. 10 at the county fairgrounds in Westport, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 14.
Here are some of the highlights of both:
A young fairgoer feeds goats at the 2010 Essex County Fair.
(Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)
The demolition derby at last year’s Essex County Fair.
(Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)
The 2009 Franklin County Fair.
(Enterprise file photo — Jessica Collier)
A demonstration of the new rollover competition at this year’s Essex County Fair.
(Photo courtesy of the Essex County Fair)
One new event this year is the Haulin' Junk Rollover Contest, which is at 6 p.m. Wednesday. This is a contest where people roll vehicles over from a ramp, according to fair board member Jim Westover. This is separate from the Egglefield Ford Demolition Derby, a popular event that will be held at noon Saturday.
Allen Scott, a Tim McGraw imitator, will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday. Street-legal truck pulls are Friday at 6 p.m. Rob Pulsifer and the E'Town Express band, a classic rock-and-roll band, are playing at 7 p.m.
There will be dog agility demonstrations - dogs running through tubes, over ramps, jumping - on Wednesday and Thursday nights. On Saturday, there will be horse and pony pulls, in addition to the derby. Tractor pulls are Sunday.
There will also be an "Essex County Idol" singing contest this year. The youth and teen contest is at 4 p.m. Thursday, with adults and finalists competing at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Every day, there will be agricultural and animal displays and events such as 4-H demonstrations, the baby animal barn, a petting zoo and different events in the conservation area, among others.
"There's something going on all the time," Westover said.
The Adirondack Maple Producers' sugar house will be there every day. The Torres one-ring family circus, whose show includes two aerial acts, clowns, hula hoops, juggling and "the globe of death," will also be at the fair daily.
"The kids love that show," Westover said. "They were here last year."
Events in the conservation area include one on birds of prey, information on blue birds, and archery, fly-tying and casting, trapping and laser shooting demonstrations. One new show this year is "Horses, Horses, Horses," an exhibition of a wide variety of horses.
General fair admission is $10 daily, which includes parking and all the rides. Some events have an extra grandstand charge - $2 for the rollover contest, $5 for the demolition derby. As of Tuesday, people could still enter both contests and the idol contest.
Wednesday and Thursday are senior citizen's days, meaning seniors get a $2 food coupon with their admission. Thursday is also carload day, meaning a carload of people can get in for $25.
The demolition derby starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, with the finals at 6 p.m. Monday, according to fair organizer Dale Chapin.
Country musician Neal McCoy will perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The truck and tractor pull is at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and Surf's Up!, a Beach Boys tribute band, performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Thursday is "hometown day," a new day that started last year and is expanding for this year. There will be a social get-together and brunch for the fair's sponsors and dignitaries, including Assemblywoman Janet Duprey and state Sen. Betty Little. At 4 p.m., there will also be a ceremony on the grandstand to honor Donald Dumont and Arlene Howard, both of Malone, who Chapin described as "longtime friends and supporters of the fair."
At 7 p.m. Thursday, there will be a parade around the track, led by parade Marshal Carlisle VanDeusen, who Chapin called a "longtime friend of Franklin County agriculture." Dumont, Howard, Little and Duprey will follow. Some of the animals exhibited in the show will also be in the parade, as well as some floats, mascots, fire trucks and others.
The greater Malone YMCA's "Franklin County has Talent" finals will be at 7:30 p.m. at the grandstand.
"That's something that started five years ago and has really, really grown every year," Chapin said.
Country singer Mallory Hope will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by Randy Travis at 7:30. Track seats have already sold out. The grandstand seats are not reserved, but Chapin suggested people arrive early if they want to get a seat for the show.
"It looks like it's going to be a really big night for us," Chapin said.
Hope will perform again at 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by Crystal Bowersox, who was a runner-up in American Idol last year. The last day of the fair is Sunday, when there will be a painted pony rodeo at 4 p.m.
There are going to be different animal shows every day. Chapin said there are a large number of animal entries - 410 dairy and beef cattle, 70 to 80 saddle horses, over 100 goats, 794 poultry chickens, and a few alpacas.
Admission varies; it's $8 most days, but $10 or $12 on others, depending on the day's events, and $15 on Friday, Aug. 12. Rides are extra. Monday, Aug. 8 and Thursday, Aug. 11 are both children's day, with prices reduced on the midway until 5 p.m. Children under 12 are free all week. Thursday, Aug. 11 is also senior citizen's day, when seniors 62 and older get in for $2.