It’s Columbia County’s high point of the year, the party offers something for everybody.
The 178th Columbia County Fair opens today and runs through Labor Day in Chatham with perennial favorites and new entertainment for all stages, exhibit buildings, barns, midway and grandstand.
Headlining the fair this year is country-rock band Parmalee, known for their hit singles, “Carolina,” “Close Your Eyes,” and “Already Callin’ You Mine.” Parmalee’s new single “Hotdamalama” from the band’s new CD “Party Pack” has recently been released. Parmalee takes the stage Sept. 2 in two shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Parmalee is most definitely a family affair, led by brothers Matt and Scott Thomas on lead vocals and drums and cousin Barry Knox on bass, with best friend Josh McSwain on lead guitar. They take their name from the small town where the band started, Parmele, N.C., population 278.
The fan favorite, year in and year out, is the demolition derby, which Columbia-Greene Media is sponsoring and will be run Wednesday and Thursday nights.
New to the fair is the New York Truck Pulling circuit rolling into the grandstand for a night of diesel, four-wheel-drive modified and enhanced gas competitors. The truck pulling is produced by Shootout Productions.
Labor Day is Rodeo Day at the fair. Professional cowboys from across the country will compete for cash prizes and a chance at the year-end trophy buckle at the Painted Pony Rodeo.
On Saturday, the Monster Tractors will once again pull their heavy loads, testing fairgoers’ eardrums and intestinal fortitude with their Godzilla roars and dinosaur stomp while earning points toward the circuit championship.
Local heroes will get their time to shine in the Firefighters Parade, which steps off at 11 a.m. with Columbia County Fire and EMS companies marching along with the Ghent Community Band.
A county fair isn’t a fair without animals, crafts, exhibits, farm products, food and contests. Back for 2018 are the crowd-pleasing competitions of livestock, talent, beverage-making, domestic arts and crafts, antique tractors, quilts, photography, schoolgirl queen, flowers, scouting, watermelon and ice cream eating, 4-H and Grange.
In addition to Parmalee, there will be musical performances in the Upper Entertainment Garden, NorthGate Stage and Pavilion. Add the midway rides, games of chance and food concessions, and the Columbia County Fair has something for everyone on all six days. This 178-year-old fair has plenty of life left in it.