Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Long Island Fair

Long Island Fair Returns To Old Bethpage Village From September 30 To October 3

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announces that the 168th annual Long Island Fair, one of America’s oldest agricultural festivals, will be held from September 30 to October 3 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. The family-friendly festival, one of the most popular fall events on Long Island, offers a range of attractions, including Lawton Trout Farm, exotic animal and reptile shows, and pony rides, as well as the amazing Flying Horses Carousel, a replica of a 19th-century folk art carousel.

“The Long Island Fair is a local tradition and one of the truly special family events that takes place each year. In particular, in our technology-driven age, the event allows children and parents to connect with the sort of recreational activities that people enjoyed in an earlier and simpler time in America,” said County Executive Mangano.

Children can take part in fun-filled contests such as corn husking and children’s potato sack races, while adults test their skill and strength at two-person cross-cut sawing in friendly competition for ribbons and prizes. Meanwhile, the livestock barn includes cattle, 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.

In the spirit of the historic nature of the fair, the Wells Fargo Company will have a replica of a famous Wells Fargo coach with a handsome team of four horses on the Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday of the event.

The Long Island Fair will also present a variety of historical period musicians, dancers, jugglers, 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 Base Ball League, which recreates “base ball” 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, the New York state-recognized county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, 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.

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.

This year’s fair is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Wachovia Bank and the Wells Fargo Company.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a re-created mid-19th-century American village set on more than 200 acres. Hours are Wed. - Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Entrance fees are $8 for children 5 - 12 (those under 5 are free), seniors and volunteer firefighters; and $12 for adults. It is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage; for more information, call 516-572-8400.

For more information about the Long Island Fair, visit For more information about the Parks Department, visit or call 516-572-0200.

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