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]

The fair was cancelled during WWI from 1917 to 1918, WWII 1942–45 and during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

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]

In the 1980s and 1990s, each summer, the Orange County Fairgrounds hosted the Westwood One & Pepsi Concert Series, featuring some of the biggest names in the rock & pop music industry. Some of the music acts included:

Artist / Band Tour Date
Jan & Dean Reunion Tour July 24, 1981
The Beach Boys August 28, 1983
Aerosmith with Orion the Hunter (band) Back in the Saddle Tour July 5, 1984
38 Special w/ special guest Night Ranger Tour de Force Tour July 30, 1984
Stray Cats Rant n' Rave w/ the Stray Cats Tour July 31, 1984
Crosby, Stills & Nash CSN Summer Tour August 10, 1984
Huey Lewis and The News Sports Tour August 24, 1984
Santana (band) Beyond Appearances Tour June 30, 1985
Huey Lewis and The News Sports Tour - "Power Of Love" Segment July 18, 1985
Willie Nelson Willie Nelson & Family LIVE! July 30, 1985
Foreigner w/ special guest Joe Walsh Juke Box Heroes Tour August 1, 1985
Bryan Adams w/ special guest Cock Robin (band) Reckless Tour August 27, 1985
Rick Springfield w/ special guest Til' Tuesday Cathode Ray Tour / Voices Carry Tour September 1, 1985
Jackson Browne Lives In The Balance Tour July 6, 1986
Alabama w/ special guest Sawyer Brown The Touch Tour July 23, 1986
The Monkees with Herman's Hermits & Gary Puckett & The Union Gap 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour July 24, 1986
Loverboy with special guest Dokken Lovin Every Minute Of It Tour July 31, 1986
Stevie Nicks w/ special guest Peter Frampton The Rock A Little Tour August 17, 1986
John Fogerty Rockin' All Over the World Tour September 9, 1986
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers w/ Georgia Satellites & Del Fuegos Rock 'N' Roll Caravan '87 Tour July 11, 1987
Bryan Adams with Special Guest The Hooters Into The Fire Tour June 15, 1987
Heart (band) with Tom Kimmel Bad Animals Tour July 23, 1987
Kenny Rogers w/ special guest Ronnie Milsap Kenny Rogers 10th Anniversary Tour August 28, 1987
Huey Lewis & The News w/ special guest Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo FORE! Tour August 30, 1987
Heart w/ special guest Michael Bolton Bad Animals Tour II June 26, 1988
Def Leppard w/ special guest Europe (band) Hysteria Tour July 26, 1988
Judas Priest w/ special guest Cinderella (band) Mercenaries of Metal Tour July 27, 1988
Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue Tour August 5, 1988
Aerosmith w/ special guest Guns N' Roses Permanent Vacation Tour / Appetite For Destruction Tour August 7, 1988
INXS w/ Jimmy Barnes Calling All Nations Tour August 19, 1988
Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour September 2, 1988
Poison (band) w/ special guest Tesla Open Up And Say...Ahh! Tour June 2, 1989
Ozzy Osbourne w/ special guests White Lion and Vixen (band) No Rest For The Wicked Tour July 2, 1989
Bon Jovi w/ Skid Row New Jersey Syndicate Tour July 9, 1989
Metallica w/ The Cult Damaged Justice Tour / Sonic Temple Tour July 14, 1989
The Beach Boys w/ special guest Chicago (band) Endless Summer Tour / Beachago Tour 1989 July 25, 1989
Yes (band) An Evening of Yes Music Plus Tour August 9, 1989
Tom Petty w/ special guest The Replacements Strange Behavior Tour August 18, 1989
The B-52's Cosmic Tour June 15, 1990
Kiss w/ special guest Slaughter Hot In The Shade Tour June 17, 1990
Aerosmith w/ special guest The Black Crowes Pump Tour / Shake Your Money Maker Tour June 19, 1990
Mötley Crüe w/ special guest Tesla Dr. Feelgood World Tour / Five Man Acoustical Jam Tour July 1, 1990
Whitesnake w/ Faster Pussycat Liquor & Poker World Tour July 6, 1990
Heart w/ Giant (band) The Brigade Tour July 18, 1990
Crosby, Stills & Nash Tour: Live It Up July 23, 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 w/ Cinderella & Extreme 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
The Scorpions w/ Great White, Aldo Nova, & Mr. Big Crazy World Tour July 25, 1991
Judas Priest with Alice Cooper, Metal Church & Dangerous Toys Operation Rock N' Roll Tour August 16, 1991
Bad Company w/ special guest Damn Yankees Holy Water Summer Tour September 2, 1991
ZZ Topp with Extreme Recycler Tour / Pornograffiti Tour September 11, 1991
Steve Miller Band w/ Curtis Salgado The Lost Cities Tour August 7, 1992
The Allman Brother w/ special guest Jeff Healey Band Shades of Two Worlds Tour / FEEL THIS August 28, 1992
Tesla Psychotic Supper World Tour September 20, 1992
Van Halen w/ 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 w/ Blues Traveler & Widespread Panic 1993 SUMMER TOUR / HORDE Tour July 21, 1993
Def Leppard w/ special guest Ugly Kid Joe Adrenalize Tour July 30, 1993
Metallica / Danzig / Suicidal Tendencies Shit Hits The Shed Tour June 17, 1994
Scorpions Face the Heat Tour July 6, 1994
Michael Bolton w/ special guest Celine Dion The Color of My Love Tour August 4, 1994
Yes Talk Tour August 21, 1994
Queensrÿche w/ Type O Negative 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
Def Leppard Slang Tour July 19, 1996
Cypress Hill & Fugees Smokin' Grooves Tour August 6, 1996
Iggy Pop w/ Sponge (band) & Bloodhound Gang Naughty Little Doggie Tour June 20, 1997
Stephen Lynch July 21, 1997
Boyz II Men Evolution Tour July 6, 1998
Goo Goo Dolls with Sugar Ray Dizzy Up the Girl Tour Aug. 29, 1999
The Marshall Tucker Band July 25, 2001
Survivor Friday July 23, 2004 8PM (PEPSI portable stage)
Buddy Jewell July 24, 2004 (PEPSI portable stage)
Mountain / Vanilla Fudge / Canned Heat Then & Now Tour July 27, 2004
Josh Turner Long Black Train Tour July 28, 2004
Vital Remains w/ Immolation Death In The Forest Festival 2006 May 20, 2006
3 (band) The End Is Begun Tour July 19, 2008
Graham Parker October 11, 2008
Night Ranger w/ Vince Neil 35th Anniversary Tour July 18, 2018
The Iron Maidens Aug 6, 2021


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