Old Bethpage, NY – Take a step back in time and explore the exhibits, performers and activities at the 177th Annual Long Island Fair coming to Old Bethpage Village Restoration this weekend (September 21-22) and next weekend (September 28-29). Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Legislator Arnold Drucker kicked off the fair on Friday, September 20 alongside performers, animals and reenactors.
“Nassau County is proud to be the home to New York State’s oldest fair! Bring the whole family down this weekend and next weekend to enjoy some wholesome family fun at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Enjoy a stroll through the village alongside the old-time reenactors to explore the butterfly and craft exhibits and journey to the fairgrounds to enter the corn husking contests, cheer on the pig races, enjoy the circus and magic shows, and much more. We are very fortunate to have a historic cultural attraction in our very own backyard – don’t miss out,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
“Every fall, the Long Island Fair pays homage to Nassau County’s roots and celebrates the change of seasons with family-friendly fun,” Nassau County Legislator Arnold W. Drucker said. “I hope everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the vendors, exhibits and attractions being presented at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, a gem in our community that brings the past alive all year long through captivating historic events and educational programs."
Visitors can enjoy magic and circus shows, a petting zoo, camel rides and historical entertainment. Stilt walkers traverse the grounds, and entertainers delight families with puppets, juggling and storytelling. All of these festivities continue a 177-year tradition. Attractions such as livestock shows, corn husking and scarecrow making contests, tractor rides, Islip Horseman’s Association Long Island Drill Team and Rough demonstrations whisk attendees back to another era.
Visitors will also find:
Aquabatics High Dive Show
Swifty Swine Pig Racing
BMX Bicycle Stunt Show
The Butterfly Experience
Games, races and contests
This year, the County will be partnering with 4H/Cornell Cooperative Extension to enhance the programming in the Campbell Livestock/4H Building. 4H will provide an array of interactive exhibits and displays including a marine touch tank, and a fun new way to make a smoothie. Visitors can learn how to take better care of their pets and get up close to their favorite farm animals. At ten minutes after every hour there will be a program by Cornell’s Master Gardeners and nutritionists in the “Ten on the Tens” tent just outside the Livestock/4H building. Across the way the young ones will have a good time being a Farmer for a Day. Be sure to check out all the activities at the south end of the fairgrounds.
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 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (September 21,22 and 28,29). Entrance fees are $15.00 for adults, $13.00 for children (5 to 12) and seniors 60 & up. Children 4 and under are free.
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 about the Long Island Fair, visit www.lifair.org.