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178th Saratoga County Fair Returns With Six Days Of Live Entertainment And Fun

The annual fair will be held at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa from July 23-28.

The Saratoga County Fair rolls into town this week. (The Saratoga County Fair)

Save some room for funnel cake and a hot dog, because the 178th Saratoga County Fair is coming to town this week. Held at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa, the Saratoga County Fair, which runs from Tuesday, July 23 through Sunday, July 28, has a calendar of its own that’s jam-packed with tons of fun events. We’re talking carnival rides and games, live music and entertainment, and exhibits and competitions—plus plenty of animals to pet, pies to scarf down and vendors to shop from (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg).

The Saratoga County Fair kicks off with two days loaded with live entertainment on Tuesday, July 23 and Wednesday, July 24. Special events include a show by the Double M Professional Rodeo at the fairground’s Grandstand, as well as performances by New York-based country music groups Grit N Whiskey and Grit N Grace (no relation) in the Jeff Townsend Live Music Pavilion.

On Thursday, July 25, the Saratoga County Fair is proud to host its 2nd Annual ThinkDIFFERENTLY Day, which allows individuals with special needs to experience all the fun of the fair but in a more sensory-sensitive environment (fewer lights, noises and people) from 9am to noon. As for the weekend, there’s a ton going on. Friday, July 26 will include a Taste NY: Local Cheese Tasting (featuring handmade Saratoga Crackers) and a “Saratoga’s Got Talent” show followed by live music from local favorites Skeeter Creek. Saturday, July 27 will feature some fun, agricultural-themed events such as a Masters of the Chainsaw Carvings Auction and a 4-H Young Farmer Olympics (don’t miss the woodworking and martial arts demonstrations, also on Saturday). Finally, the fun wraps up on Sunday, July 28 with a Pizza-Eating Contest (it’s New York after all); a giant ice cream sundae sponsored by Stewart’s Shops; and the Taste of Saratoga County, a sampling of delicious and local culinary products from across the county.

Weekly passes to the fair are $40 apiece and new this year, kids 12 and under get in for free! (Active military members with ID also get free admission.) For the full schedule of events, click here.

Saratoga Race Course Update

Of course, there’s also the OG Saratoga summer entertainment hub: Saratoga Race Course, which has a lot going on in its own right. On Wednesday, July 24 the track will show its patriotism with a Military Appreciation Day. All veterans and active-duty military will receive free Grandstand admission (with military ID). Guests to the track can stop by the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion for military-related exhibits and activities.

On Saturday, July 27, Saratoga Race Course will unite with Thoroughbred racetracks across the country for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF) Day Across America. Come to the track for photo opportunities, autograph singings and more.

For fans of horse art, the track is hosting a Paint & Sip on Sunday, July 28. Tickets are $65 a person and include a wine-fueled and Saratoga-themed paint session at Saratoga Race Course’s Paddock Tent.

Outside the track, don’t miss Horse Racing Trivia Night at the National Museum of Racing on Friday, July 26. Bring your best team of horse racing aficionados to win prizes. There will also be special, racing-themed presentations, as well as food and beverages donated by Peabody’s and Saratoga Eagle.

On Sunday, July 28, Vapor Night Club at Saratoga Casio Hotel is presenting its popular annual Saratoga Jockey Karaoke Contest. In addition to a whole evening of jockey crooning, get ready for live and silent auction items in addition to lots of fun and live music (for tickets, click here).

And for those who are all about the races, here are the top stakes at the track this week:

Wednesday, July 24
Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap

$150,000 New York Stallion Series Cab Calloway Division

Thursday, July 25
Grade 2, $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial (Steeplechase)

Friday, July 26
$100,000 Curlin

Saturday, July 27
Grade 2,  $600,000 Jim Dandy

Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap

Sunday, July 28
Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam

But wait! There’s more. For you non-horse-racing-or-county-fair fans, check out the rest of the wonderful events happening in and around Saratoga, the Capital Region and beyond.

Monday 

As part of the Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival, Skidmore’s Wilson Chapel will be screening The Invisibles about four Jewish women in WWII Berlin (July 22)

For the marching band fans, don’t miss Glens Falls Music Academy’s Drum Corps Showcase at East Field in Glens Falls (July 22)

Tuesday

saratoga living‘s “The Races!” Party with Todd Pletcher is the party of the summer! It takes place at Putnam Place in Saratoga. VIP tickets still available! (July 23)

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) presents its SPAC On Stage Series with Tony Succar & Mixtura (July 23)

Skidmore College is hosting its 40th Annual Palamountain Scholarship Benefit, Polo by Twilight at the Saratoga Polo Association (July 23)

Celebrate women’s suffrage with Climbing Poetry and OKAN, part of the Spirit of the Suffragettes summer concert series at Troy’s Freedom Square (July 23)

Catch a performance of the award-winning drama Sequence at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls (July 23-27)

The Saratoga Shakespeare Company kicks off a week of King Lear performances at Congress Park in Saratoga Springs (July 23 through August 3)

Wednesday

Joyce Carol Oates will be reading at Skidmore’s Gannet Auditorium as part of the college’s New York State Summer Writers Institute (July 24)

Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas is bringing his Chip Tooth Tour to SPAC in Saratoga (July 24)

The Capital Concert Series is presenting a free show of Steven Marley—second son of reggae legend Bob Marley—at Albany’s Empire State Plaza (July 24)

Man of many talents, actor, writer and producer, Nick Kroll is performing his standup comedy at The Egg in Albany (July 24)

The Bluebillies present a Tribute to Johnny Cash with Special Guest Marty Wendell at the Little Theater on the Farm in Fort Edward (July 24)

Thursday

Comedian, actor and writer (and voice of Remy from Pixar’s Ratatouille) Patton Oswalt is performing live at the Palace Theatre in Albany (July 25)

Country music star Brad Paisley is performing at SPAC in Saratoga (July 25)

Banjo virtuosos Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn will play two sets at Caffè Lena in Saratoga (July 25)

Join author Patrick Smithwick at the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga for the launch and reception of his new book Racing Time: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Liberation (July 25)

Catch classical music by the Romanic Russians at the Crandall Library’s Summerland Music Society concert series in Glens Falls (July 25)

Put on your racecourse best for An Unbridled Affair Gala at the Saratoga Springs City Center (July 25)

Friday

Multiple Grammy-winning artist Rhiannon Giddens returns to The Egg in Albany to play selections from her album Songs of Our Native Daughters (July 26)

An incredible show, Train/Goo Goo Dolls with Allen Stone, is coming to SPAC in Saratoga (July 26)

The Palace Theatre in Albany is proud to present A Midsummer SLAY! With Queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race (July 26)

Take a nighttime Yacht Cruise Party Around New York City with Hornblower Cruises & Events at Pier 15 in Manhattan (July 26 and 27)

The Glens Falls Entertainment & Music Festival (GEM Fest) is now a two-day event at various venues throughout Downtown Glens Falls (July 26-27)

The Big Bounce America—the world’s biggest bounce house—is coming to the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn (July 26-31)

A new, English musical comedy, Wild Rose, kicks off a week of screenings at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady (July 26-August 1)

Saturday

Admire some fine automobiles during the Adirondack Triumph Association European Motorfest at the Saratoga Automobile Museum (July 27)

Get ready to party at the elrow NYC: Open Air Festival (more than ten straight hours of entertainment) at The Brooklyn Mirage (July 27)

It’s still not too late to register for the 14th Annual ididaride! Adirondack Bike Tour starting at the North Creek Ski Bowl (July 27)

Love ducks? Don’t miss the annual Kiwanis Million Dollar Duck Race and Family Fun Day at Haviland’s Cove in Glens Falls (July 27)

Slip and slide around during the Insane Inflatable 5K at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck (July 27)

The Sembrich Studio’s “Latin American Classics” will present guitarist Humberto Flores with Pianist Olga Gurevich and the Silver Bay Quartet in Bolton Landing (July 27)

Popular blues guitarist and singer (and Utica native) Joe Bonamassa is coming to SPAC in Saratoga (July 27)

More than 250 of the nation’s top poets will participate in the free 9th Annual New York City Poetry Festival on Governors Island in New York City (July 27-28)

Sunday 

Enjoy a free concert with Skippy & the Pistons as part of the Saratoga Summer Concert Series at historic Congress Park (July 28)

The Tri-City ValleyCats and Make-A-Wish Northeast New York have teamed up to host Swishes for Wishes Night at the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy (July 28)

American guitar hero Tinsley Ellis returns to The Linda in Albany (July 28)

The Kidz Bop World Tour 2019 is stopping by SPAC in Saratoga (July 28)

Get your asana on with YOGA OF THE EARTH at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson (July 28)

Jeff Dingler
Jeff Dingler

Jeff Dingler is saratoga living's Senior Writer. He's a graduate of Skidmore College and a professional musician.

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