Barnstable County Fair Opens Monday

EAST FALMOUTH – The 175th edition of the Barnstable County Fair opens Monday at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth.

The fair includes food, attractions, midway rides, agricultural exhibits and several musical acts through Sunday.

Highlights this year include the World’s Largest Demolition Derby, the kid’s demolition derby and main stage musical performances from Tyler Rich, Rae Lynn, the Spin Doctors and The Association.

Fair spokesman Craig Orsi said there is a mix of traditional favorites and new acts.

“We try to keep the grounds acts fresh. We try to keep the main stage lineup fresh,” Orsi said.

“We try to bring in new people year-in and year-out and balance bringing back some of the favorites and also looking at where we can potentially add some new traditions.”

Fair Manager Wendy Brown said the agriculture exhibits are an important part of the fair and that the youth component is huge.

“There are a lot of 4H groups who volunteer,” Brown said. “There are a lot of kids showing their animals so it is an educational piece for them.”

Brown said every day brings something different in the agricultural exhibits.

“Usually the cattle are there,” she said. “We have the dairy and beef cattle, sheep, goats, chicken, rabbits. We usually have llama displays, mini horses and ending with the horse show on Sunday. It’s pretty active down there.”

Brown said there is a very competitive premium program for livestock.

“They do win a quite a bit of money,” Brown said. “It’s very expensive to raise livestock, obviously, so a lot of them go to all of the fairs.”

There is also a large horticultural area.

“If you have never been into the gardens it’s absolutely amazing with all the flower beds they do,” Brown said. “The whole middle is planted with vegetables, which they harvest and donate to local pantries.”

There is also a diverse lineup of musical acts on the main stage.

The 2019 Fair will be opened by country singer-songwriter Tyler Rich, who was listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of their “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” in 2018. He will perform on Monday at 7:30 p.m. 

Herman’s Hermits Featuring Peter Noone will perform Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Country singer Rae Lynn is scheduled to appear on Friday night.  

The Spin Doctors take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

And The Association, a 60’s rock band, closes out the Fair on Sunday with a show at 6:00 p.m.

The Demolition Derbies are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Brown said there are some interesting new food items.

“I think one of the big hits will be Bacon on A Stick,” she said.

Orsi said there is a new fairgrounds act, The Flying Fools. The high diving act will see the performers plunge 150 feet into a 30-foot pool.

“They do a whole bunch of flips and other things,” Orsi said. “It’s going to be a different kind of show and you should be able to see it from all parts of the fairgrounds.”

The Flying Fools will have three to four performances each day.

Brown said the popular stunt bike show returns, along with the man who dresses up like a lifelike tree.

The fair draws up to 70,000 people each year.

Brown said the attendance can vary depending on the weather.

Orsi said the fair prays for cooler overcast days to draw Cape Cod visitors away from the beach.

The Barnstable County Agricultural Society held the first fair in 1844 at the County Courthouse in Barnstable Village.

After a short stint in Marstons Mills the fair was moved to its current location in 1973.

Admission to the fair remains $12 and includes all shows. The gates are open from 4 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, along with noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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