It’s time for the new Great New York State Fair

Things will be different when the New York State Fair opens the gates today.

Starting with the gates.

Welcome, all.

Welcome, all.

From the close last Labor Day, the sprawling fairgrounds in Geddes received a facelift to the tune of $50 million, the folks right there a couple of miles west of Syracuse city proper who hosted our monthly session for the Social Media Breakfast Syracuse group explained Wednesday morning as they served coffee and goodies in the Empire Room restaurant and then hauled us around the complex in a couple of trams.

Our tram passes a train as the train passes our tram.

Our tram passes a train as the train passes our tram.

They tore down the very old grandstand, which had hosted concerts during the fair and dirt track auto racing in October. A new amphitheater had been built across the road on the shore of Onondaga Lake to hold the shows already anyway. The dirt racing, well, that’s more complicated.

Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.

The guided tour showed us the new space for the Midway rides and games.

Have fun through here.

Have fun through here.

The over-the-ground electric cables are a thing of the past, our guides explained. All the power cords are now safely buried. They were always easy to trip over, I recalled on the Tram, when I cut through the Midway from the Press Room to Chevy Court and the Grandstand to review the concerts for the big daily.

The Tram will be free this year, the guide explained, thanks to a new sponsorship by Chevrolet. In the past, the Trams were pulled by tractors. This year, they’ll be pulled by Chevy pick-up trucks. Nice.

Our two pick-ups stopped outside the horse barns so we could all pile out for a look.

Beautiful animals.

Beautiful animals.

The stalls were all empty. But some riders were walking their gorgeous horses around the fairgrounds. Thankfully.

Our last stop was the new main gate.

I was reminded of a Roman Coliseum.

After taking my photos, I high-tailed it back to my car, passing Chevy Court, where I had to snap off a shot with my iPhone 6.

The site of the free shows.

The site of the free shows.

It looks the same.

My dear wife Karen and I will be going at least once these 10 days, stopping to hear a show.


Are you a fan of your state fair? What’s your favorite part of your state fair, and why? Which photo is your favorite, and why?

16 thoughts on “It’s time for the new Great New York State Fair

  1. Went yesterday and attended the concert in the Amphitheater. I was surprised at how much space was left open. Especially on the west side of the grounds. They should have tried to fill those places with more things for people to see, do, eat and shop at. How’s this for an idea…move all the vendors in the Center of Progress building to an outside tent/tents and use the CoP building for ideas…you know, progress like stuff.

    They need to supply more buses for people to get from the fairgrounds to the amphitheater. Had to wait 30 minutes for a ride in front of the Main Gate. It was very confusing and people didn’t know where the ticket line was at times. It should work like an SU game does with a steady stream of buses for the 2 hours needed.

    Now for the positive…it is much more open and easier to get around. Chevy court is much much better. Just have to get used to the new locations for vendors. I’ll be back this weekend. I only hope the new app will show starting times on time instead of 90 minutes behind as it did yesterday.


  2. Mark: we got a tour too at the Fair to look at some of the new accessibility features. You got a lot better photos!

    I’m definitely going on Monday to see Brian Wilson play Pet Sounds in its entirety. We will go one other time during the day to see animals and sand sculpture and the State Trooper dogs! (and let’s not kid ourselves–eat!)

    Love the Fair, we go every year–at least twice. Back in the day I wish they had that 5 day pass they are offering this year.

    The only bad thing about the Fair? When its over, that’s about it for summer too!



    • Photo ops aren’t always easy, Phil.

      I hope you enjoy Brian. And I hope he’s up to a big crowd. It’s bound to be packed!

      You’re right. When the fair is done, so is our summer, my friend.


  3. i love state fairs and county fairs and haven’t been in a while. this reminds me that i need to go again. my favorite are the food contests, but i love all of it –


  4. I’m a huge fan of state fairs. Ours here in Nebraska since forever has been in our state capital of Lincoln. However, a few years back they moved it from the south east part of the state to the central part of the state in Grand Island, Nebraska. The idea behind it was to make it more readily available to the people who participate and encourage the importance. Sure hope you guys enjoy the festivities.


  5. I LOVE the state fair, but I didn’t make it this year. It was entirely too hot, which I know I say a lot, but it was really, really hot! This is the second year school started before the fair and I had absolutely no desire to go out in the evening in the hot with the crowds. :/ Last year wasn’t as pleasant because of that and so I hope…
    Maybe next year 🙂


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