Old Bethpage, NY - Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) will host the 174th Annual Long Island Fair over two successive weekends: September 24th, 25th, and 30th and October 1st and 2nd.
County Executive Mangano stated, “The Long Island Fair, one of America’s oldest agricultural festivals, is a family-friendly festival offering a range of attractions, including exotic animals, reptile shows, pony and carnival rides, as well as traditional live music. I invite residents and visitors to join us at the Long Island Fair.”
Visitors can enjoy magic shows, a petting zoo, and historical entertainment. Stilt walkers traverse the grounds, and entertainers enthrall families with puppets, juggling, Timberworks Lumberjack show and storytelling. All of these festivities continue a 173-year tradition. Attractions such as livestock shows, tractor rides, Civil War reenactments, and Rough Rider demonstrations whisk riders back to another era. Visitors will also find:
• Historical demonstrations: tin-smithing, pottery, blacksmithing, weaving, and candle-making;• Dance opportunities: brass bands, a fiddler, bluegrass band Buddy Merriam & Backroads, Homegrown String Band, and kids' singer-songwriter Patricia Shih;• Tests of skill: sawing, corn-husking, and scarecrow-building contests; guessing the weight of a giant pumpkin;• Tickets required: rides on camels, ponies, horse-drawn wagons, a hot-air balloon, and a 19th-century carousel; bounce houses;• Eats for sale: candied apples, pumpkins, organic veggies, fresh-made candy, giant turkey legs, and funnel cakes;• New for 2016: Jimmy Riffle of Animal Planet’s “Gator Boys” Alligator & Reptile show
Meanwhile, baseball fans can enjoy the end-of-season matches of OBVR’s Old Time Baseball League, which recreates “baseball” as it was played in the latter half of the 19th century, with teams competing in authentic uniforms and playing under the names of Long Island clubs of that era.
The Long Island Fair is the New York State-recognized county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, and involves the cooperation of the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Thousands of exhibits are entered every year in friendly competition, with blue ribbon categories including livestock, flowers and vegetables from farms and home gardens, culinary, needlework, hobbies, and a junior division for those 13 and younger. This year’s competitions will also include an “Advanced” category for new professionals, novices and students who are serious about their craft. Entries in this category will require a fee, with generous first, second and third place prizes; and the judges will be required to submit credentials in the specific classes.
The fair is unique among New York State County Fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. The fair was founded in 1842 and became known as the Queens County Agricultural Fair, but soon after was called the Mineola Fair when it moved to a permanent location in Mineola in 1866. The fair moved to Roosevelt Raceway in 1953 and to the newly opened Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 1970, where it is held on a 12-acre recreation of the original Mineola Fairgrounds.
The Long Island Fair hours are as follows: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Fridays and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance fees are: $12.00 for adults, $8.00 for children (5 to 12) and seniors 60 & up. Children 5 and under and Active Military Personnel: Free. Specials: Senior Citizen Friday (Sept. 30th): $5. Early Bird Special: Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., all tickets are $7.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th Century American village set on more than 200 acres. Old Bethpage Village is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage; for more information, please call: (516) 572-8401.
For more information about the Long Island Fair, visit www.lifair.org. For more information about the Parks Department, please visit: www.nassaucountyny.gov/parks or call: (516) 572-0200.