Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Looking back at 2016: Fairs and Events

Last week I recapped all the medieval faires I attended over 2016, this week we will discuss the other types of fairs, attractions and events. As with my blog about the medieval faires, this one will also include links to those previous blogs in case you wish to read the entire review.

There were several county fairs that I attended over the year. These mostly are agricultural fairs, this means they were initially set up to exhibit equipment, sports, animals and recreations dealing with farm or agriculture. Most of the country fairs in New York state are designated as agricultural fairs.

The first of these fairs was the Schoharie County SunshineFair.  This was the  139th year this fair has been held. The fairgrounds consist of 25 buildings and a 3,000 seat grandstand and a newly built horse arena. The fair itself is located in the town of Cobleskill, NY.

Beside the rides and food, which were very enjoyable, one of my favorite places to visit was the Heritage Village on The Green.  This was an area set aside at the fair for artists and craftsmen, each one engaged in older skills and occupations.

The next agricultural fair I attended was the Altamont Fair located in Altamont, NY. There is a long and interesting history of this fair, and I encourage you to go to my initial post about the fair to read more.

One of the interesting acts I saw at the fair was the Piratesof the Colombian Caribbean High Wire Aerial Thrill Show. This act combined a very interesting and entertaining show with high wire antics.

I also enjoyed visiting 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.
Connie McCarthy at the Farm House Museum

Another fascinating attraction is the Circus Museum.  It displays articles, scale models and memorabilia of circuses.

Chase Con was a comic book convention in Saratoga Springs, NY which was held in October.   There were numerous vendors, selling items from comic books to toys and games. There were also panel discussions about how to make your outfit for Cosplay (costume Play) and even how to perform fight scenes, and even acting. In May there will also be another Saratoga Comic Con convention.

fans enjoying Case Con

The biggest event I participated, and volunteered for, was the Saratoga Springs International Film Festival, held this past year on September 17th.  This was held in Saratoga Springs, NY, the arts an entertainment center of the capitol region of New York. This was the first time this event was held, and it was a huge success.

The film festival displayed numerous films from around the world. I was given the privilege to introduce some of these movies, and also be the moderator for a Q&A session afterwards.
Some of the volunteers of the Saratoga Springs International Film Festival

The next festival will be held for three days, September 15-17 2017.  I encourage anyone who wishes to be part of this wonderful event, or to sponsor it, contact the SSIFF staff now. Also, if you are a filmmaker and wish to submit a movie, please go to their website for more details.

I attended many events and attractions in 2016.  I hope to continue with this in the upcoming year.  In the spring this post will list the events I am planning on attending. Have a safe and happy 2017.

W.A.Rusho is an amateur historian, professional wrestler and author. You can contact him by visiting his website, or by email.


  1. This fair provided entertainment for the young and old - something for everyone. The Carribean Thrill Show sounds intriguing as well as the farm house museum. Nice to take a photograph of the team who pulled this together - not an easy job at all.

  2. William - I envy you. What fun to attend all these fairs. I went to a few when my late husband and I owned our log home in upstate NY and really enjoyed them. I volunteered last year at the Sarasota Film Festival and plan to again this year. Wonderful experience and saw some very interesting films.

  3. You've inspired me to look up fairs in western PA and see what might be going on this year. And I'm always up for a trip to western (upstate!) New York. You sure have fun.

  4. Thank you William for visiting so many fairs in 2016 and further sharing them with us!
    It's good to know about them, so one day when visiting can come back to your blog and check what can be visited during the time :)

  5. Busy year for you William, and a bonus for us that you do such a great job of sharing your experiences. Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year!

  6. Glad you are having such a fun and rewarding time visiting fairs. Hope 2017 will provide you with an abundance of more interesting fairs.

  7. You have just inspired me to do some of this kind of thing this year. I always think about it, but never actually do it. I think I am missing out on too much. Time to take action and go experience.