The Calendar: What To Do In Saratoga Springs On Labor Day Weekend

All the top events in the Capital Region on Friday, Saturday and Sunday—including a gaggle of county and state fairs!

New York State Fair
The Great New York State Fair. (Michael J. Okoniewski/NYS Fair)

Labor Day weekend most likely means a day spent out of the office (I hope that means you!), with friends and family grilling out and eating lots of food (that seems to be essential to every holiday). And this weekend, there will be no shortage of events to attend should your grilling arm be too tired to cook all those hamburgers and hotdogs. A good compromise? Going to the fair and eating someone else’s hamburgers and hotdogs…and fried dough and blooming onions and pie, yes, pie. There are so many fairs going on this Labor Day weekend that instead of focusing on just one, saratoga living decided to give you a little sampling of each.

Columbia County Fair
First is the 178th Columbia County Fair in Chatham, NY, which kicked off on August 29 and will run until Labor Day (September 3). This fair really does have it all: colorfully lit carnival rides and games, a volunteer firefighter parade, demolition derby and rodeo (not at the same time). Admission is $10 per person, except on Sunday when it’s $15 (buy tickets in advance and save $2 to $7).

Fonda Fair
Next up is the 177th Fonda Fair, about an hour southwest of Saratoga Springs in (you guessed it!) Fonda, NY. It’ll feature a deliciously caloric selection of fried foods and a schedule of entertainment similar to that of the Columbia County Fair, including pageants, truck pulls, animals shows, and, yes, another demolition derby! The Fonda Fair runs from August 29 – September 3, 8am – 11pm every day. General admission is $10 and children under 6 get in for free.

New York State Fair
If you’re willing to take a drive—2.5 hours west of Saratoga—head to Syracuse for the Great New York State Fair, which opened August 22 and will be running until Labor Day. It may be a couple of hours away, but the Great New York State Fair isn’t just the largest in the state, it’s one of the largest in the country, drawing hundreds of thousands of families from across our state (and a few others) over its 13-day showcase of agriculture, entertainment, education and technology. The New York State Fair is open daily from 7am – 10 pm; general admission is $10 and children 12 and under get in for free (check for discounted prices on certain days).

Schaghticoke Fair
Last but certainly not least is the 199th Schaghticoke Fair. This fair in the small town of Schaghticoke (about half an hour’s drive east of Saratoga) and boasts of the being the third oldest in the state. It also features some slightly different entertainment than you’d expect from other local fairs, such as acrobatic equestrian stunts, a birds of prey show, Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean high-wire show and even an agricultural-inspired puppet show. The Schaghticoke Fair runs from August 29 to Labor Day; tickets are $12 a person and children 13 and under are free (also check for days with special prices).

And if you need more to do (or less fried food to eat), check out these other great events happening Labor Day weekend.

Friday, August 31

The Polo Hall of Fame Tournament – 5:30pm Friday and Sunday, catch the last two matches of the year at 2 Bloomfield Road, Greenfield Center.
Third Rail Live – 6 – 9pm at The Saratoga Winery.
Troy Night Out – 5 – 9pm on the last Friday of every month in Downtown Troy.

Saturday, September 1

Teacher’s Night Out! Paint Event – 12 – 4 pm at Art in Mind Creative Wellness Studio in Glenville.
Grade 1 Woodward Stakes – It’s the last major stakes race of the summer, and your last weekend to catch some time a Saratoga Race Course.
Capital District Scottish Games – 8am Saturday and 9am Sunday at the Altamont Fairgrounds.

Sunday, September 2

Labor Day Lobster Clambake BBQ – 3-7pm, The Adelphi Hotel, Saratoga.
The Cat’s Big Cookout – 1 – 8pm, at Saratoga Casino Hotel.
Windbreaker Giveaway Day – All day at Saratoga Race Course, a ticket of admission includes a free windbreaker.
Celia Woodsmith Album Release with Say Darling – 7pm at Caffè Lena.
Summer Stroll: Queen Annes – 10:30am, Circular Street & Union Avenue.

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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