Feel Like a Kid Again at the Warren County Farmers’ Fair & Hot Air Balloon Festival
Mark your calendar for the 77th annual Warren County Farmers’ Fair featuring the Hot Air Balloon Festival, from Saturday, July 26 to Saturday, August 2, 2014. While the Fair offers many different types of shows and entertainment, it's that feeling of nostalgia that draws visitors year after year.
There is something about this old time county fair that makes visitors feel like they’ve gone back in time. A reminder of when life was simple and people were not consumed by technology. Experiences like pony rides, animal exhibits or eating cotton candy on the midway. The antique car and tractor shows are always a hit. Those that like a little more speed, for a nominal fee, can enjoy some main arena events like the new diesel truck pull, two demolition derbies, mud bogs, and tractor pulls.
The admission price is pleasantly low at $7 for an adult, $4 for children ages 5-12. Admission for those under the age of 4, as well as parking, is free of charge.
These days everyone is looking for value, and the Fair delivers. Admission to the Fair also includes access to the Hot Air Balloon Festival, presented by Jersey Central Power & Light. In its 14th year the Balloon Festival is a Fair highlight, with mass balloon ascensions at 6:30 pm each evening. Watch as a bevy of hot air balloons take off from green pasture to blue sky each evening – powered by AmeriGas. The special shape monster, Airhead Invader, will invade the fairgrounds again this year. No need to worry – he’s a little too big to fit under the bed.
The Traditional Arts Expo, in its 17th year at the Fair, offers different demonstrations throughout the week. Stop by the building at the south end of the Fair to see an array of handwork – quilts, lacing, weaving and more. The Home and Garden Building also has handwork on display along with fruits, vegetables, herbs, photography, scrapbook pages and more. Many locals enter their work – both handwork and fruits of labor – in a variety of contests, and will be on display the week of the Fair.
Over 180 years combined of training youth for their future, the 4-H and FFA play a major part in the Fair. Each year students show off their work and skills through a variety of contests and exhibits. Be sure to check out the FFA building and their landscaping talent, both inside and outside the exhibit building. Support the 4-H by stopping at their food stand for a novelty ice cream or beverage.
Check the schedule of events for the 4-H/FFA animal shows and competition. The Fair will also be host to an open mini goat show in addition to open beef and steer shows. On opening day Saturday enjoy an old fashioned Ox Pull competition in the main arena, free for fairgoers.
There are plenty of contests that visitors can participate in or enjoy watching. For little ones the Fair is adding the Kid’s Rodeo Roundup on closing day Saturday. Roundup events include Stick Horse Barrel Race, Hoola-Hoop Roping and even a Best Dressed Cowboy and Best Dressed Cowgirl Contest. The Kids’ Corral continues to expand with more activities, crafts, shows and contests.
For more mature youth we invite them to participate in the Ag Olympics or our Teen Contests. Teens can compete in individual contests, as a “crew of two” or in a triathlon. Contests include hay bale rolling, a balloon shave, a triathlon – which involves an egg and spoon, a tricycle race and pealing an orange while wearing gardening gloves.
From the animal barns to the Kids’ Corral, the Fair is a place where one will find wholesome, affordable entertainment! The Kids’ Corral gives fairgoers with small children value added opportunities, as everything in the Corral is free of charge. Little ones can make crafts, enjoy clown shows, and compete in contests for prizes and more. This year’s line up includes Merriloons the Clown, Rizzo’s Reptiles, Winakung at Waterloo and environmental educator Diana Dove. Contests include Pie eating, egg rolling and Fear Factor Veggie Style where we make your child eat vegetables.
Come on out and enjoy a variety of talent in the Country Idol Contest, Talent Show and the Fair Queen and Princess competitions.
Warren County is one of the most scenic counties in New Jersey with the event being easily accessible from Routes 80, 78 and 22.
Advance tickets for the main arena events are available by mail order. Visit the Fair website to download the order form. For more general information on the Fair contact the office at 908-859-6563. For details on the balloon festival or to book a balloon ride call 908-454-3431.
The Warren County Farmers’ Fair and Hot Air Balloon Festival – Feel Like A Kid Again. Supported in part by a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism, www.visitnj.org.