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