All eyes will be on Cobleskill beginning Tuesday when the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair opens for its 132nd run.
Even bigger things are in store for 2009, when the Fair will be extended to nine days.
But for this year, the focus remains on affordable family fun with plenty of old favorites and new attractions, according to Doug Cater, Fair president.
“Despite the economy, which has everyone concerned, we’re hoping to do quite well,” Mr. Cater said.
“We’ve dropped some of our charges and for a family of four, it will actually cost them less to attend the Fair this year than last.”
Add to that the savings offered by three-day passes, where sales are already substantially above last year’s, Mr. Cater said, and season passes, and he’s counting on people to stop by the Fairgrounds more than once.
“Additionally, there’s free parking and kids under 13 get in free,” he said.
“Wednesday is Senior Day and we’re offering $2 off senior admission. School-age kids can also get in free and both Thursday and Wednesday will be $12 wristband days. I don’t think there’s anywhere else you can get a deal like that.”
Maintaining the Fairgrounds is a year-round project and there’s new paint on nearly every building, Mr. Cater said.
A new sign at the Fairgrounds entrance is reminiscent of one that appeared there at the turn of the century, there have been substantial improvements to the Hall of Agriculture, and the ever-popular Historic Treasures now boasts a loft for additional exhibit space as well as a “Victorian parlor.”
Mr. Cater said he expects as many as a half-dozen six-horse hitches for the draft horse show and for the fans of the longer-eared equines, the mules and donkeys will be back for their Saturday competitions.
Saturday will also be the day for pie-eating, hot dog-eating, and jalapeńo-eating contests on the Price Chopper Stage under the Gillette Tent, and the ’07 belly dancer will be back on both Saturday and Sunday.
Bruce Wright, who’s in charge of grandstand programming, said the popularity of ATV racing, slated for Sunday, continues to grow and to attract more local competitors, “which was our goal.”
Thursday’s rodeo, again at the grandstand, will feature professional bull riding; tractor pulling and other “wheeled events” will also be back,” Mr. Wright added.
The third Sunshine Fair Idol contest will run on Sunday with two dozen acts—and audience voting.
Other musical entertainment will include: The Diamonds, Terry Lee Goffee, back for the third time with his Johnny Cash Tribute; Daryle Singletary, The Tokens, and a Hotel California Eagles Tribute.
Carmine Dio & Goodfellas, the Electric City Horns, and The Refrigerators will also be back.
Replacing the circus will be a the Dueling Pirates high dive show, with three to four shows daily.
There will be a Wambold’s Circus Menagerie and Horses, Horses, Horses, which drew enthusiastic crowds to the Fair several years ago, will be back again this year.
“Of course, there’s all the old favorites—all of the cattle and horse shows, the Gillette Midway, and plenty of concessions,” Mr. Cater said.
Again this year, there will be free parking as needed at the old Guilford Mills plant with trams running as needed.
“There’s still a lot of last-minute things to wrap up, but we’re getting excited,” Mr. Cater said.
“We think we offer an excellent value here and we’re especially grateful for the sponsors and other supporters who make it possible. We hope to see everyone there.”