Going to the Dutchess County Fair is a tradition for many families here in the Hudson Valley. My husband has pictures from every year he took his daughter and now he's added pictures with our oldest grandson. It's fair week and it's a lot of fun.

But what if you or someone in your family has sensory issues or a disability, going to the fair with all the hustle and bustle may not be an enjoyable experience. In fact, it could be anxiety-inducing. Standing in long lines, all of the blinking and flashing lights, plus the noise, may be too much for some to take.

There's good news though, as ThinkDIFFERENTLY Thursday is back again for this year's Dutchess County Fair. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Dutchess County Fairgrounds President Andy Imperati made the announcement earlier today to help individuals and families with developmental disabilities have fun at this year's Dutchess County Fair.

On Thursday, August 23, the gates will open early at 9 so families can be there as the fairgrounds wake up for the day. Not only can Livestock Hill and all of the animal barns be enjoyed, but the AgriVenture Kids Activity Tent will also open at 9. In it, kids can explore a pretend farm and learn how food is grown and then sold. Kids can even dig up some potatoes, shear a wooden sheep, pick apples and more.

At 9:30 there will be special sensory sensitive hours on the carnival midway until 11:30. During this time, the flashing lights, music and other sounds and noises will be turned off and there will be little to no waiting in line for rides. Making it easier for those challenged by sensory issues to enjoy the fair.

The Dutchess County Fair will run from Tuesday, August 21 through Sunday, August 26. Admission and ride tickets can be purchased online, children under 11 are free. See you at the fair.

 Bonus Video

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