Orange County Fair (New York)

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The Orange County Fair is an annual fair held in the town of Wallkill, New York. The fair began when farmers of Orange County organized an agricultural society to help promote a county fair. In 1808 they tried to organize the fair but it did not generate enough local interest. The society tried again in 1818 and held the fair until 1825. It took another sixteen years before county leaders met at the Old Stone Courthouse in Goshen, New York on September 11, 1841 and formed the Orange County Agricultural Society. That meeting was the birth of the Orange County Fair and the first fair was held on November 17, 1841 in Goshen.

Since that first fair in Goshen, the fair gained in popularity and other communities wanted to host it on a rotating basis. The fair rotated locations from year to year in Montgomery, NY, Chester, NY, Newburgh, NY, Warwick, NY, Washingtonville, NY, Goshen, NY and Middletown, NY.

In 1862 the fair's permanent site in Goshen was established but by 1872 the fair was in trouble because the lease on that site was not renewed, however, a group of Orange County farmers kept the fair alive in succeeding years.[1]

It was permanently located in the Wallkill–Middletown area in 1897.[2]

Orange County Fair Speedway[edit]

The fairgrounds are also home to the Orange County Fair Speedway, where they hold stock car races and demolition derbies during the summer months. It is the oldest continuously operating dirt track in the United States. In 1919, a group staged an automobile race during the annual fair. The first race was a huge success, and auto racing has been an integral part of the fairgrounds ever since.[3]

4-H And Future Farmers of America[edit]

The fair no longer maintains 4-H and Future Farmers of America exhibits, Future Farmers of America hasn't been a part of the fair for a number of years and in 2012, 4-H pulled out as well. The fair now brings in private agricultural displays and exotic animals which it considers more friendly to its customers.[4]

Westwood One / Pepsi Concert Series[edit]

Through the 1980s and well into the 1990s, the Orange County Fairgrounds hosted the Westwood One & Pepsi Concert Series, featuring some of the biggest names in the music industry every summer. Some of the music acts that appeared through the years included;

Artist / Band Tour Date
The Beach Boys August 28, 1983
Aerosmith Back in the Saddle Tour July 5, 1984
Orion The Hunter July 5, 1984
.38 Special with special guest NIGHT RANGER Tour de Force Tour July 30, 1984
Crosby, Stills & Nash CSN Summer Tour August 10, 1984
Huey Lewis & The News SPORTS Tour August 24, 1984
Santana Beyond Appearances Tour June 30, 1985
Huey Lewis and The News SPORTS Tour - "Power Of Love" Segment July 18, 1985
Foreigner with Special Guest Joe Walsh Juke Box Heroes Tour August 1, 1985
Rick Springfield with Special Guest Til' Tuesday Cathode Ray Tour / Voices Carry Tour September 1, 1985
Jackson Browne Lives In The Balance Tour July 6, 1986
Loverboy Lovin Every Minute Of It Tour July 31, 1986
Stevie Nicks with Special Guest Peter Frampton The Rock A Little Tour August 17, 1986
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers with Special Guests Georgia Satellites & Del Fuegos Rock 'N' Roll Caravan Tour July 11, 1987
Bryan Adams with Special Guest THE HOOTERS Into The Fire Tour June 15, 1987 -
Heart with * Special Guest Cock Robin * Bad Animals Tour July 23, 1987
Kenny Rogers with special guest Ronnie Milsap Kenny Rogers 10th Anniversary Tour August 28, 1987
HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS with special guest Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo FORE! Tour August 30, 1987
Def Leppard * Special Guest Europe * Hysteria Tour July 26, 1988
Judas Priest with Special Guest Cinderella Mercenaries of Metal Tour July 27, 1988
Aerosmith with Special Guest Guns N' Roses Permanent Vacation Tour / Appetite For Destruction Tour August 7, 1988
Poison with Special Guest Tesla Open Up And Say...Ahh! Tour June 2, 1989
Ozzy Osbourne With Special Guests White Lion and Vixen No Rest For The Wicked Tour July 2, 1989
White Lion with Special Guest Vixen Big Game Tour (Opened For Ozzy Osbourne) July 2, 1989
Bon Jovi New Jersey Syndicate Tour July 9, 1989
Metallica Damaged Justice Tour July 14, 1989
The Beach Boys With Special Guest Chicago Endless Summer Tour 1989 July 25, 1989
Yes An Evening of Yes Music Plus Tour August 9, 1989
Tom Petty With Special Guest The Replacements Strange Behavior Tour August 18, 1989
Kiss with Special Guest Slaughter Hot In The Shade Tour June 17, 1990
Aerosmith with Special Guest The Black Crowes Pump Tour June 19, 1990
Mötley Crüe with Special Guest Tesla Dr. Feelgood World Tour / Five Man Acoustical Jam Tour July 1, 1990
Heart The Brigade Tour July 18, 1990
POISON with Slaughter & Bullet Boys Swallow This Live: Flesh & Blood World Tour June 5, 1991
Megadeth / Slayer / Anthrax / Alice In Chains Clash Of The Titans Tour June 27, 1991
Doobie Brothers American Tour July 4, 1991
David Lee Roth with CINDERELLA & EXTREME A Little Ain't Enough Tour July 5, 1991
Yes UNION TOUR July 22, 1991
Huey Lewis and The News Hard At Play Tour July 24, 1991
Judas Priest with Special Guest Alice Cooper Operation Rock N' Roll Tour August 16, 1991
Bad Company with Special Guest Damn Yankees Holy Water Summer Tour September 2, 1991
Extreme Pornograffiti Tour September 11, 1991
The Allman Brothers with Special Guest Jeff Healey Band Shades of Two Worlds Tour / FEEL THIS August 28, 1992
Van Halen with Special Guest Vince Neil Band Right Here, Right Now Tour July 6, 1993
Soul Asylum / Spin Doctors / Screaming Trees MTV Alternative Nation Tour July 15, 1993
Phish with Special Guest Blues Traveler 1993 SUMMER TOUR / HORDE Tour July 21, 1993
Def Leppard with Special Guest Ugly Kid Joe Adrenalize Tour July 30, 1993
Metallica / Danzig / Suicidal Tendencies Shit Hits The Shed Tour June 17, 1994
Michael Bolton with Special Guest * Celine Dion * The Color of My Love Tour August 4, 1994
Yes TALK TOUR August 21, 1994
Queensrÿche The Road To The Promised Land Tour July 25, 1995
101.5 WPDH 20th Anniversary $20,000 Cash Bash with Special Guest .38 SPECIAL June 28, 1996
Stephen Lynch July 21, 1997
The Marshall Tucker Band July 25, 2001
Buddy Jewel July 24, 2004
Mountain / Vanilla Fudge / Canned Heat July 27, 2004
Josh Turner July 28, 2004
3 July 19, 2008
Graham Parker October 11, 2008


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