COBLESKILL — Schoharie County’s largest annual tradition is about 75 hours packed with oddball acts, regional flavor and rural razzle-dazzle.
Putting it all together is a seemingly ceaseless process for Doug Cater, board president of the Cobleskill Agricultural Society.
“We got some entertainment booked for two years from now if you want to know the truth,” said Cater. “But you have to or otherwise somebody else is going to get it and we’re always looking for something different.”
This year’s Sunshine Fair in Cobleskill starts on Tuesday and runs through Sunday. Expect acrobats, chainsaw sculptures, racing pigs, and dock-jumping dogs.
“They throw out like a bone or whatever, then the dogs jump out and then pick it up and then they swim back,” said Cater. “I know there’s a lot of interest in that.”
Also on the docket is a performance from 1990s country superstar Tracy Byrd, the first big-name headliner in 20 years, according to Cater.
Other musical acts include central New York’s Jason Wicks, Schoharie County-based Tony Hall and Capital Region cornerstone band Skeeter Creek.
Cater expects traffic aplenty following one of the fair’s most widely attended years in 2022. It’s advertised as far west as Syracuse and “a long ways” east.
“We get a lot of people from down around New York,” said Cater, who became fair director in 1976 and started serving as president in 2004. “A lot of people plan their vacation — believe it or not — during our fair week.”
The once-called Cobleskill Agricultural Fair started in 1866. The earliest newspaper references to the “Sunshine Fair” date back to 1924 in the now-defunct Richfield Springs Mercury.
Nearly a century later, organizers have sold about 40 feet of space — a record number for the Cobleskill Agricultural Society.
WHERE: Sunshine Drive, Cobleskill
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 8 through Sunday, Aug. 13; gates are open from 9 a.m. to midnight
HOW MUCH: $15 on Tuesday ($10 for seniors until 4 p.m.); $20 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; $22 on Saturday and Sunday
Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3047 or [email protected]. Follow him on Facebook at Tyler A. McNeil, Daily Gazette or Twitter @TylerAMcNeil.