New York State Fair

John Smith / WAER News

The final weekend of the State Fair is upon us and the specific days left will honor Native Americans, Latinos and raise awareness about substance abuse.  Friday is “Stomp Out Stigma Day” aimed to get family members and individuals support services to deal with addition to opioids and heroin.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The 13-day run of the New York State Fair begins Wednesday, and officials say they’re gearing programming to reach a more diverse audience.  They’re trying to build on a 40 percent increase in attendance since the state poured $120 million into the fairgrounds. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Anyone who goes to the New York State Fair knows there’s no shortage of food, games, rides, shows, music, and other activities.  There’s also no lack of elected officials or candidates seeking office.  Friday was no exception, as senator Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by the wine seminar room in the horticulture building, probably much to the surprise of the other guests.

"Thank you all so much.  Let's have our wine tasting!"

Kevin Fitzpatrick / WAER News

Kids at the state fair Thursday got to imagine themselves as New York’s farmers of tomorrow.   As part of agriculture career day, young scientists performed hands-on experiments on local produce, and then set out on a scavenger hunt to learn about the ways the vital and expansive industry is advancing across the state. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

The New York State Fair is officially underway for its 13-day run, and with it comes a few more changes in amenities and programming to improve the experience for fairgoers.  Spokesperson Dave Bullard says there’s the most obvious addition…

"When people walk out into the center of the fairgrounds, they're going to see something they haven't seen before.  They'er going to see this massive building...90 feet tall at the peak, 440 feet long.  It's a big, big building, and it's really going to be special for our non-fair business going forward."

Gabrielle Caracciolo / WAER News

Attending large events such as the New York State Fair can be a challenge to test one’s memory to navigate through the new midway versus the more familiar areas.  Loretto is reaching out to people on Senior Day to give fairgoers an opportunity to sign-up for memory health assessments with Clarity Clinical Research and to increase community awareness.  Clarity Research Specialist Lisa Sonneborn says efforts to increase education are helping New York’s memory care to stand out.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Perhaps one of the most noticeable changes to the state fairgrounds is in the midway after $50 million in upgrades.  The removal of the grandstand and race track opened up a more uniform space for the rides and games.  WAER News caught up with the man in charge of the midway…and a few fairgoers for some feedback.  

Sure, there are some strange shows and scary rides on the midway, but owner and CEO of Wade Shows Frank Zaitshik says that’s not the case with the new layout.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  There’s a new venue for the popular Super DIRT week racing event that has called the state fairgrounds home for decades.  The aging track and grandstand will soon be demolished as part of $70 million in redevelopment and upgrades.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday the event will move to the Central New York Raceway Park currently under construction in Hastings. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  One of the people through the turnstiles at the State Fair Tuesday was Governor Cuomo.  He was ready to share with fairgoers his vision for a new look to the fairgrounds.  The visit was making good on a promise to move the attraction into the future.

John Smith/WAER News

The Onondaga Lakeview Amphitheater project is moving full speed ahead to time to welcome its first official act during the 2015 New York State Fair. Construction crews have been busy working a couple of shifts daily for months.  Country singer-songwriter Miranda Lambert will be the first official concert act on Thursday, September 3rd. In a statement provided by the County Executive’s office and concert promoter Live Nation, the singer acknowledges that she is no stranger to the area.