WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The annual Passaic County Fair returns to Garret Mountain Reserve next week, running Thursday, Aug. 17 and Friday, Aug. 18 from 6 to 11 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug. 20 from 3 to 11 p.m. The cost to enter the fairgrounds is $5 per car.
Inaugurated in 2004, the fair this year will be hosted by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Friends of Passaic County Parks. Planners promise it will be packed with more fun, family-styled entertainment and activities for all ages.
The fair will offer carnival rides, games, food vendors, a beer and wine garden, health screenings, pony rides, petting zoo, a chess tournament, fireworks and county 4-H exhibits.
The scheduled entertainment announced includes
Silk City Band at 7 p.m.
The Kootz at 8:30 p.m.
Clique at 6:30 p.m.
Zach Matari at 8 p.m.
fireworks at 9 p.m.
RIFF at 9:30 p.m.
Zumba class at 4:30 p.m.
Uncle Floyd at 5:30 p.m.
Memories at 7 p.m.
fireworks at 9 p.m.
La Orquesta Caribena at 9:30 p.m.
Reskestra at 4 p.m.
The Dalton Gang at 5:30 p.m.
AP Chem at 9 p.m.
T.J. Best, Passaic County freeholder, who is co-chairman of the fair, said organizers will be pulling out all the stops for this year's event.
"We are expecting the largest crowd this year, and each year it has grown," said Best. "We always want to ensure everyone has a great experience. We are having more rides, including a Ferris wheel, and are bringing back more games of chance. This year we are offering great entertainment, food vendors from across New Jersey, and a full slate of events for children and families."
According to Best, the biggest difference from the prior year is that on Thursday evening, the fair will offer a $20 wristband, giving those in attendance unlimited rides.
"The first night is 'Family Fun Night' and we'll offer this special discount to those who come out," he explained. "The rides are safe and age appropriate, from the same reputable ride company we have been using at the fair for years, and are a leader in northern New Jersey."
Chess tournaments will be offered for children and adults. The Harlem Wizards will also be on hand to dazzle the crowd.
"Approximately 200 people have registered for the chess tournaments," Best added. "Also, the Harlem Wizards will be playing a game against athletes from Passaic County Technical Institute. They will also be playing a game against officers from the Passaic County Sheriff's Department."
Middle Eastern belly dancers will be performing, and local talent will also be spotlighted. Additionally, other activities of Garret Mountain Reservation include the newly refurbished Lambert Tower, along with Lambert Castle, which will be open for attendees to enjoy.
Along with Best, Jamie Dykes, director of the Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce, is co-chairperson of the fair. Some of the sponsors this year are Schumacher Chevrolet,Lakeland Bank and Braen Stone.
"One of the things attendees really love are the fireworks and we are bringing them back again this year for both Friday and Saturday nights," he noted. "We want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves again. The Passaic County Fair is a staple event for our residents and a great showcase for the Garret Mountain Reservation. We are expecting close to 20,000 visitors this year as we continue to offer affordable, family friendly fun for Passaic County residents.”
Passaic County Freeholder Director Sandi Lazarra, also commented on the upcoming fair.
“Every year the Passaic County Fair is growing with bigger and better entertainment offerings for our residents,” stated Lazzara “I want to thank all of the fair sponsors for helping Passaic County in hosting this great event at no cost to the taxpayers and investing in the improvement of the Passaic County Park System.”