Our area’s oldest agricultural county fair is kicking off its 92nd year this Thursday, September 8 (it concludes September 11), at the Grange Fairgrounds in Yorktown Heights. Putnam native and former fair director Peggy Derevlany, who’s been involved with the event for more than 20 years and currently contributes as a volunteer, says, “The fair keeps people grounded. It reminds us that our suburban communities were at one point in time farm communities.” With some input from Derevlany, we’ve compiled a rundown of what stand to be the fair’s highlights over its four-day run. Unless synchronized horses and steak lunches aren’t your thing.
Antique Tractor Parade
At noon on Saturday, more than two dozen engines dating back as far as the late 1800s will make their way from Veterans Road to the fairgrounds. Upon arrival, the machines, along with other antique farm tools and equipment, will be lined up for up-close viewing in an exhibit area. But if you feel like hopping on, save it for the livestock tent, where mini-tractors will be available for rides and plenty of priceless photos.
Performance by Mahopac’s The Voice Contestant, Amanda Ayala
This current Mercy College student has spread her musical talents to millions of TV sets in America while on Season 9 of The Voice. You can hear her signature rasp (watch/listen above) on Saturday at 5 pm.
We’re not horsing around with this show-stopping act. Leona Duchin’s Red Horse Troupe of 12 junior and senior group riders will be jumping into the ring on Sunday, performing synchronized routines to music. This year, the fair has added a horse-costume competition, putting stallions from Manitou Farm and Putnam Valley’s Dusty Stables head to head in a barnyard battle that will be equally cute and comical.
Grab a pumpkin and some melons, and get creative with some produce.
The Largest Produce Around
Every year, the fair awards blue ribbon prizes for the most gigantic pumpkins and baseball-bat sized zucchini farmers can reap. Plus, non-growers can participate in weight- and size-guessing contests and agriculture arts-and-crafts activities that’ll show kids how to build animals out of veggies.
If you’re looking for classic fair favorites like funnel cake or fried, well, everything, don’t worry, you’ll find it. But this year, the Yorktown Grange Fair is bringing in a range of local vendors from around the county to provide higher-end, healthier options and accommodate the needs of all visitors. You’ll find the culinary creations of the region’s Frankie & Augie’Z Italian Restaurant, Grand Central Market, and Destination Bistro, among many more.