The 166th Annual Barnstable County Fair kicks off tomorrow. Started in 1844, the first fair was sponsored by the Barnstable County Agricultural Society at the Barnstable County Courthouse and featured livestock and handicraft exhibits.
By the mid-1900s the fair had grown to incorporate fireworks, food sales and contests and entertainment.
Today, the week-long event which draws tens of thousands of locals and visitors, features food, midway games and rides and headline entertainment. There are live animal shows, a demolition derby and monster trucks--true Americana.
This year the fair begins on Saturday, July 17, 2010 and runs through the following Saturday. Each day, visitors can enjoy several live animal exhibits including Australian kangaroos and the always amazing Birds of Prey exhibit. There are also cows, llamas, bees and much more. Watch agricultural demonstrations and contests or enjoy some decadent carnival food (c'mon, it's only once a year!).
In addition to the every day events and exhibits, there are several special events and headline musical acts:
Proceeds from the fair are re-invested in the fairgrounds and used for agricultural scholarships and other local programs. Although famous for the Barnstable County Fair, the Barnstable County Fairgrounds hosts a variety of programs and festivals throughout the year including the Cape Cod Stampede in August, the Cranberry Cluster Dog Show in September and the Harvest Fest in October.
The Barnstable County Fair is open from 12pm to 10pm daily. The gates close at 10pm and the midway area closes at 11:30pm. Ticket information including daily admission, multi-day passes and special "wrist band" days is available here. There is both paid (closer) and free (farther away) parking at the venue.