Friday, 16 September 2011 00:00
Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) will host the 169th Annual Long Island Fair from September 22 through 25. The 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.
“The Long Island Fair is a local tradition and one of the truly special family events that takes place each year,” said County Executive Mangano. “In particular, in our technology driven age, this event allows children and parents to connect with the sort of recreational activities that people enjoyed in an earlier and simpler time in America.”
Children can take part in fun-filled contests such as corn husking and potato sack races, while adults can test their skill and strength at two-person cross-cut sawing in a friendly competition for ribbons and prizes. Meanwhile, the livestock barn includes sheep, goats, horses, rabbits and other animals, while the livestock demonstration ring will feature the beautiful horse-drawn carriages of the Paumanok Driving Club and the miniature horses of the Keystone Miniatures Club.
The Long Island Fair will also present a variety of historical period musicians, dancers, mimes and other artists. For example, a giant entertainment tent will be home for a “Punch and Judy” puppet show, a magician and musical performances by the folk group Stout. 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.
Old Bethpage Village is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage. For more information, call 516-572-8400.