The secret road to the DC fair that Google won’t show you



If you’re heading to the Dutchess County Fair this week, you don’t need to sit in traffic on Route 9.

Dutchess County top-to-bottom electronic signs are already warning motorists to expect delays as thousands of cars flood the roads en route to the fair. On fair days, Route 9 can quickly turn into a parking lot where frustrated drivers wonder where they went wrong.

Tourists logging into the Dutchess County Fair address have few options for routes to the main gate on Route 9. But you can avoid much of Route 9 by traveling on 9G. Unfortunately, you will eventually have to come back to Route 9 to join everyone sitting in traffic and wait to go through the crowded gate.

But locals who know about it don’t even bother to head for the main gate. They use another little-known entrance to the fair which is never crowded and will allow you to spend less time in the car and more time eating fried dough.

The secondary entrance on Parsonage St. in the village of Rhinebeck is open to motorists and will bring you to the same parking lot as everyone else without ever driving on Route 9. If you are heading to the fairground, set your GPS to Parsonage St. instead of the Dutchess County Fair. Your navigation system should take you back there. From Route 9G you will take Rt. 308, or East Market St. to Rhinebeck. A right turn onto Parsonage will lead to the gate.

Police are usually stationed in the Eastern Market to control the flow of traffic, so leaving the fair is just as quick and easy as getting there. Just walk back down Parsonage and turn left on East Market. I have visited the lounge a number of times on the busiest days and have never had a traffic problem on this route.

Hope this driving tip saves you more time to get to the Dutchess County Fair this year. Now if only we could find a way to get this milkshake line moving a little faster.

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