The rides are arriving, the food trucks too, and lights and music are being set up at the fairgrounds in Essex Junction.

The Champlain Valley Fair is starting its second century this week.

Since it began in 1922 its continued to grow, and this year there’s something new.

“This year we are welcoming a ventriloquist and he will be on the Steve Bayner Stage, we have a balloon comedian coming, and we have a live shark exhibit we are pretty excited to welcome,” says Champlain Valley Exposition Marketing Director Jeffrey Bartley.

From August 25t to September 3, the fairgrounds will feature 70 food venders, 40 carnival rides, 2,000 animals, motorsports events, concerts, and thousands of visitors.

Around 120,000 people will pass through the gates, and they’re going to need something to eat; as usual, there’s an array of choices.

“Meatball subs should be new this year, we are also doing jumbo hotdogs, and then we have a few more other things that we’re going to be having this year that we’re excited about,” says Erik Frivoll.

Erik Frivoll manages Rocky’s NY Pizza in Essex. He and his staff are getting ready for opening day.

So are Brad Bergeron and Ben Brownell with Edgeworks Display putting up the Fair’s Agriculture Hall of Fame photos.

Bergeron says, “To be working here this week is kind of nice. Brings back the memories of being a kid here.”

“No matter what else is going on in the world, you can forget your troubles for a little bit. Come to the Champlain Valley Fair, enjoy some food, some rides, maybe see some people you haven’t seen in a while,” Brownell adds.

Bartley says, the Champlain Valley Fair’s mission is to provide a space for community members of all ages to be a kid or be a kid again together.

“We like to have a symbiotic relationship with the community, for ourselves to grow but to also support the community,” Bartley adds.

There are also special discounts. Half price admission on opening day, Kids’ Day and Military Appreciation Day on Monday the 28th, and Senior Day on Tuesday the 29th

The Fair is partnering with local law enforcement to enforce a no bag policy.

All bags larger than 12 by 12 by 12, excluding diaper and medical bags, will be subjected to search.

Tickets are available at the fair’s website and there’s more information on my