Halfway There: State Fair Is 7 Days In, Attendence Sets Records

Aug 27, 2019

The midway at the 2019 New York State Fair.
Credit John Smith / WAER News

We’re already at the halfway point of this year’s State Fair, and the attendance continues to grow.  Fair spokesperson Dave Bullard says they attribute that to major fair improvements to the tune of $120 million in recent years which allows people to sprawl out.

“We’ve gotten a little more popular,” said Bullard. “And the people who’ve been coming are staying longer. It’s the oddest thing. We never expected that, to find that to be different. Then if you think about it, it makes sense. If you’re comfortable, you’ll stay. If you’re uncomfortable, when you’re hot and it’s crowded, you’ll leave.”

Now with everything in place on the expanded midway and no new buildings to integrate this year, the team has been focused on programming.  Bullard says that involves connecting people to the agriculture offerings of the state like 25 cent milk and creating family fun programming, including at the Expo Center.

“This year instead of ice, we’re doing turf sports,” said Bullard. “We’re doing family movie nights. You can go in and play these big lawn games like a massive connect four, or you can play blow up foosball.”

The stamp designs showcased at this year's New York State Fair.
Credit John Smith / WAER News

Members of the US Postal Service in Syracuse was at the Expo Center Tuesday to offer one of the latest stamps that gives a nod to state and local fairs.  Spokesperson Maureen Marion grew up in Syracuse and has been going to the Fair since she was a kid.  She says the stamp is evocative.

“You see some hay bales and fruit and vegetables and then some little piggies,” said Marion. “Then you see a midway, and then you see somebody handing over a candy apple. So you can’t miss the feel.”

Tuesday was the second of back to back Senior Days, and it was also Beef Day.  The State Fair runs through Labor Day.