Now that August is finally here, we can say it's officially fair season.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Families in and around the Hudson Valley make their way to the Dutchess County Fair Grounds in Rhinbeck towards the end of August. The Dutchess County Fair is the second largest fair in New York State. Obviously it draws a huge crowd every year and while many of us  love seeing the lights, hearing the sounds of rides and wandering through big crowds, for others it can be quite stressful.

On Monday, July 31, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced the return, via a press release, of “ThinkDIFFERENTLY" Thursday at the Fair. ThinkDIFFERENTLY Thursday will make the fair grounds accessible to special needs families starting at 9am on August 24, an hour before the gates open at 10am. While not all vendors and booths will be open, families can enjoy the animal barns on Livestock Hill and the 4H Exhibit Hall. Carnival rides on the midway will be "sensory sensitive" until 11:30am where the lights, sounds and music will be turned off.

“ThinkDIFFERENTLY was started in 2015 as a call to action to make the Dutchess County community supportive of individuals of all abilities.

Andy Imperati, the General Manager at the Dutchess County Fair Grounds, says "The Dutchess County Fair is proud to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ and offer a fun experience for every family! These adjustments make it a little easier for families with special needs to come and enjoy the Fair, and that is our goal."

The Dutchess County Fair runs from Tuesday, August 22 to Sunday August 27. Tickets can be purchased online for adults, children under 12 are free.


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