Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Altamont Fair, and the Saratoga Springs International Film Festival

This week will be a busy post, first I want to talk about the Saratoga Springs International Film Festival.

This is the first year for the festival; I would encourage you to check out the lineup for the films being presented.  I also would ask you if you can please attend this festival on September 17.
This past week I attended the Altamont Fair. Here is some background information about this fair.
Albany, NY hosted a fair beginning in 1819. This fair was originally known as the Ploughboy’s Holiday or the Agricultural Jubilee. It was held in those days in Albany at the Washington Park and the grounds at the State Capitol. It was designed to become the Albany Country fair celebrating and display the agricultural benefits and aspects of the county.
In 1892, it was decided to begin hosting the fair in the nearby town of Altamont, NY. In 1893 the village of Altamont hosted the fair, and the main event was a harness race. The first year it cost 25 cents for admittance, the receipts for the four days totaled over $884.
In 1922, The fair now included Schenectady and Greene counties. This is the only 3 county fair in New York State.
1924- Lights were added, allowing the fair to stay open after dark.
Over the last ten years, there has been over 1 million dollars invested into the grounds and buildings.
This year, I had to go to the fair after work, this meant some of the previous events I had seen before, such as the Coronas Circus Hollywood, was not scheduled for a show when I was there.  You can read about them from my post last year.
The following events and attractions I was able to go to or participate in.
Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean High Wire Aerial ThrillShow which was very entertaining for adults and children alike. I can imagine it is hard enough walking on a wire, but doing a show which includes sword fighting on a wire must be even more difficult.



The fair is very unique in that it has established buildings to showcase the history of the area, and how people previously lived, worked and played.
One of these building is the Farm House Museum. Here you can see older items used every day in a period of our history before electricity and gas.  My previous supervisor, Connie McCarthy, volunteers here; it was good to see her again.
The Farm House Museum
Another of these was the Antique Farm Machinery.  Here old farm equipment is restored and taken care of. They demonstrate the early machinery used in farming.

I do like to visit the  Circus Museum, this is one of my favorites.  There are exhibits consisting of cages with animal animatronics and displays of circus memorabilia.

Statues of P.T. Barnum and James Anthony Bailey

There were rides and food available for everyone.

The Altamont Fair is a wonderful annual event, and its reputation as a great summer attraction in the Albany Capitol Region is guaranteed. 
Next Week: More information about the Saratoga Springs International Film Festival, and another Medieval Faire.
W.A. Rusho is a professional wrestler, historian, and author of the novel “Legend of the Mystic Knights”. The previous publisher of this novel is no longer in business, and so he is actively seeking a literary agent or publisher. If you wish to contact him, email him, or visit his website.


  1. Oh my gosh...sword fighting on a high wire??? I think I would be so nervous watching that live, but how amazing.

    I think the farm house museum would be really interesting as well. I always find it interesting to learn how people lived before us.

    1. The farm house museum was one of my favorites too. It is also why I liked the agricultural museum as well. It was not an easy life back then, but they had contraptions and tools, which they thought made it easier than the people who came before them.

  2. I have always wondered how people balance on a wire. They must have extreme body control. So this was a circus come fair - something to suit the whole family!

    1. Most are children of acrobats themselves, and are taught at a very young age.

  3. Love the name Ploughboy's Holiday. They should bring that back. Looks like a lot of interesting films in Saratoga. Enjoy.

  4. Another exciting festival, William. Can't help wondering how much time you spend every week visiting such events? What do you get out of it apart from inspiration?

    1. Some fairs, like the medieval fairs, I get information for my writing. Some like these, a county fair, I just enjoy them.
      This one was actually just up the road from me, so it was easy to get to.

  5. High wire acts always make me uneasy, but to add sharp objects to the whole thing? Yikes.
    I like your pictures--they create an inviting atmosphere for the visitors. Glad that it was a huge success--really from the start!

  6. I didn't know what "animal animatronics" were so I ran a Google search thereon. Check out this "ANIMATRONIC ANIMALS - From the Legacy Effects Archives" video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csBfXqJDsDg. Does the Circus Museum feature animatronic tigers? A circus isn't a real circus without tigers.

    1. Yes they did, turned its head to one side and another.
      I knew one of the contestants on the TV show, Jim Henson's Creature Shop competition. Her puppets were incredible.

  7. Looks like a great event William, and I just love museums of all kinds! Haven't had an opportunity yet to explore fairs in my new home state, but the state fair just started and I haven't been to one of those since I was a kid, so it's definitely on the agenda. :-)

  8. wow looks impressive! I love international film festivals, thanks for sharing about your great experience with us