The 161st edition of the Oswego County Fair kicks off Aug. 8 at the county fairgrounds in Sandy Creek.
The fair runs daily to Aug. 12. The theme this year is “Where Neighbors Become Friends.” As always, there is free admission and free parking at the fair. Some grandstand shows may charge admission.
There are a number of new items this year at the fair. There will be a BMX bicycle show every day at the fair and various musical entertainment groups performing during the fair.
Also, the last day of the fair, Aug. 12, will be a special day just for families. Fair President Carol Sweeney said the rides and midway will pack up and leave the fair Saturday night (Aug. 11), so on Sunday a day of fun is set for children, including bouncy houses, games and other activities — all free for kids and families. Sweeney said the only thing people will have to pay for is food.
Also, a lot of the county fair’s favorite activities and events are coming back this year. They are:
■ The baby show (open to ages newborn to 24 months) will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 in the entertainment building. The babies can win awards for daintiest, sturdiest, friendliest and best set of twins and triplets for various age group. Sign ups will be held the morning of the show.
■ Pans will be flying through the air during the skillet throwing contest at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 10.
■ On Senior Day, there are two special contests just for seniors in the entertainment building. There is an Oreo stacking contest at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 8 and a spelling bee at 2 p.m. Aug. 8.
■ For the kids, there are daily sawdust hunts.
■ The Little Britches Show, for youngsters ages 5-8 showing animals, is at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8
■ If you are into the trotters and pacers, then head out to the grandstand at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 for harness racing. The 2-year-old and 3-year-old colts, fillies and geldings will vie for prize money in the entertaining races.
■ The ever-popular Demolition Derby comes to the grandstand area at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. Participants from local areas and across the country compete for prize money while trying to see which vehicle is the last one running after the metal crunching is over.
■ The parade is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, with lineup beginning at 6 p.m. About 50 units march in the parade, including marching bands, floats, units from various county organizations, scouts, fire departments and police departments, animals, children, veterans and motorcycles. The parade will proceed onto Ellisburg Street entering the fairgrounds via the front gate to the grandstand. There are awards for various categories of units in the parade.
■ The Midway will be presented by Playland Amusements out of Auburn. Ride wristbands, available from 6-10 p.m. Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturday, are $20. Single tickets are $1 each; 22 tickets are $20 and 55 tickets are $50. There are no rides or midway on Sunday, Aug. 12.
■ See all the Oswego County historical exhibits in the Heritage Building.
■ Exhibits and displays by youths will be available in the Youth Building.
■ Learn all you can about farming in the county in exhibits in the Agricultural Building.
■ Fireworks after the parade at dusk Aug. 8.
■ Antique tractor pull, 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 12
■ Truck pulls will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10
■ Antique car show at noon Aug. 11
■ The Brett Falso Band performs at 8 p.m. Aug. 8 and 9.
■ Hay bale toss is 2 p.m. Aug. 12 in the Agriculture Building.
■ Backpacks, books and school supplies will be given away from noon-2 p.m. Aug. 11
■ A huge rabbit show, sanctioned by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, with more than 700 competitors, is at 8 a.m. Aug. 12
Here is a list of shows and events going on at the fair:
Baby show — 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11
Harness racing — 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8
Junior dairy show — 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9
Youth beef show — 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9
Junior dairy goat — 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11
Junior alpaca — 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9
Junior swine show — 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10
Junior sheep show — 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10
Junior rabbits and cavies — 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11
Junior poultry show — Noon Wednesday, Aug. 8
Junior dog show — 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11
Open horse show — 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 12
Open dairy show — 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 12
Open beef show — 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 10
Dairy goat show — 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11
Open sheep show — 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11
Open swine show — 10 a.m. Friday, Aug 10
Open poultry show — Noon Wednesday, Aug. 8
Open cavies show and open rabbit show — 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 12
Demolition derby — 6 p.m. Aug. 9, $10 admission; 5 p.m., Aug. 11, $10 admission