Fireworks, circus, and racing monkeys - Hudson Valley Fair returns
A 130-foot Giant Wheel is featured at the Hudson Valley Fair. / Courtesy photo
By Suzy Berkowitz
Apr. 16, 2014
FISHKILL — This weekend marks the return of a family favorite — the Hudson Valley Fair.
Back for a sixth year, the annual spring event at Dutchess Stadium is set to open on Friday. It will run on weekends through May 4.
Rob Weber, the fair manager, said he and his fellow organizers spend the year putting the event together.
“We want people to come to the fair every day and every weekend and not have to save up to be able to come once,” Weber said. “We want to find the best forms of entertainment and present the best event possible. We want people to make memories.”
This year’s entertainment will include fireworks, a circus, a family of trapeze artists, a petting zoo, amusement rides, camel and pony rides, and for the first time, the Banana Derby.
The Banana Derby is a race where monkeys dressed in jockey outfits race trained dogs around a track. Courtesy photo
The Banana Derby involves three monkeys in jockey costumes atop three dogs, racing around a track. The Banana Derby’s Monkey’s Butler, Phillip Hendricks, said he is excited to finally travel up to the Hudson Valley after pedaling his act at state fairs and similar venues around the country. Weber said the Banana Derby is an event he has been trying to book for years.
“I enjoy going to different parts of the country and meeting different people,” Hendricks said. “Everywhere I go, people smile and laugh at me. People like seeing moneys up close and personal and I’m still amazed by how excited people are to see them. A lot of people have never had a chance to interact with a monkey before. After the races, we give people the opportunity to take a picture with the monkeys.”
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