Usually camels, scarecrows and mimes don’t hang out together, but they will for the next two weekends, when they can all be found at the 177th annual Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Restoration Village Restoration.
“It’s the oldest fair in New York State,” says Seaford resident and organizer Gary Haglich. “It’s like an old-fashioned fair with things that set us apart from all other fairs and festivals on Long Island. A lot of families come and there’s something for all generations.”
RIDE THE CAROUSEL
One of the fair’s most popular attractions is a replica of an 1860s “Flying Horse” carousel made for children. “It’s always a big hit,” Haglich says. “There’s a board organ too that plays all the oompah music — that adds great atmosphere.
Haglich says that among the most “unique” things that will be offered are camel rides on a real rented camel, scarecrow building contests that allow competitors to construct their creations in areas throughout the grounds, and rides on a replica of an 1860s.
MAKE A SCARECROW
On ongoing scarecrow contest invites fairgoers to construct a creation in areas throughout the fairgrounds Those who enter will be provided with a stake in the ground, a crossbar for the scarecrow’s arms and a bale of hay, Haglich says, but they must bring clothing and anything else they might want to use for their entry.
“It’s usually a family or group that builds the scarecrows and people are really creative,” he says. “One year someone did a scarecrow of our mime.”
First, second and third prizes will be awarded.
SEE THE ENTRIES
The centerpiece of the fair dates back to its roots — as a friendly competition for residents to enter their homegrown produce, fresh-baked sweets and handmade crafts. Fairgoers can see the results in the Grand Exhibition Hall.
MEET THE ANIMALS
The fair also hosts an exotic petting zoo under a tent that's also home to one of the more unusual Long Island Fair attractions: Rides on a camel.
177th annual Long Island Fair
WHEN|WHERE 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 21-22 and 28-29 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage
INFO 516-572-8409, lifair.org
ADMISSION $15 ($13 ages 5-12)