GEDDES — This year’s New York State Fair kicks off Aug. 21 at the state fairgrounds. Fair Director Troy Waffner and his crew have made numerous improvements to the fairgrounds and are adding new things to see for the 2019 fair.
In addition to new items at the fair, the 13-day event includes many highlights that people enjoy year after year. Those include the many animal barns where people can see and touch farm animals (beef and dairy cows, pigs, goats, horses, poultry, llamas) from across the state and even talk to the farmers about the animals.
And yes, in the swine barn there will be numerous sows with lots of piglets to see.
In the Dairy Products Building are two of the most popular sites on the fairgrounds — the butter sculpture and the Milk Bar with cups of white or chocolate milk for just 25 cents. Be sure to check out the Agricultural Museum to see displays of how things were done in yesteryears, the Horticulture Building filled with beekeepers, maple producers and apple producers and the ever popular baked potatoes. The bovine moms-to-be will be back to give birth live in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center located in the Family Fun Zone near the Youth Building.
There’s the ever-popular Midway filled with games, food and rides by Wade Shows and there are two money-saving opportunities on the Wade Shows Midway. On Midway Monday, Aug. 26, fairgoers can purchase a wristband good for 10 rides for $10. On Labor Day, all Midway rides are $1. The Broadway Skyliner is not included.
Wristbands are not recommended for children under 36 inches tall as there are a limited number of rides they can safely ride. Parents with children under 48 inches tall should check the height requirements before purchasing to make an informed decision about whether wristbands are the best value for their children.
There is also the food truck competition in which 40 food trucks from across the state compete from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 1 and 2 at the New York Experience festival area on the west end of the fairgrounds. Twelve trucks are new to the competition this year, as people visiting the fair get to bop from truck to truck sampling food made mostly with New York state agricultural products.
The New York State Fair will begin using a large parking lot near the Main Gate and expand the spaces available in some of its highest-use lots as efforts continue to improve parking for the fair.
The 10.5-acre lot, being leased from Honeywell International, will hold an estimated 1,800 vehicles. The Willis Lot, at the corner of State Fair Boulevard and Willis Avenue, includes accessible spaces for those with the proper license or tags. Centro will operate continuous free shuttle buses from the Willis Lot to the Main Gate and back.
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Parking will remain $5 per vehicle for fair lots, including the new Willis Lot. Parking is free at Centro Park-N-Ride lots.
Three Park-N-Ride lots, the busiest and largest ones served by Centro for the Fair, will add spaces this year. The lot at Farrell Road and John Glenn Boulevard, just off I-690, will grow to about 2,300 spaces, the Destiny USA entertainment destination will provide 3,100 vehicle spaces this year and the lot at ShoppingTown Mall will increase to 1,600 spaces.
The Fair and Centro will discontinue use of lots at New Venture Gear and Hancock Airport. In addition, the lot at Long Branch Park will be consolidated into the expanded and more convenient lot at Farrell Road and the Regional Market lot will be consolidated into the expanded Destiny USA lot. In all, about 24,851 parking spaces will be available this year, compared to 25,963 in 2018.
Centro will continue to operate Park-N-Ride service from locations in Cayuga and Oswego counties as well. Park-N-Ride service is $4 per person round trip from most locations. Half-fares are available for seniors, persons with disabilities, and children 6-9.
Riders will enter through the new bus terminal area in the Gray Lot adjacent to Gate 10. Trams to all points of the fairgrounds are available inside and four new trams will provide express service between Gate 10 and the Chevy Court area without intermediate stops.
All fair trams are free courtesy of Chevrolet.
In addition, parking is available for $5 per vehicle in the fair’s Orange, Brown, Pink and Gray lots. E-Z Pass Plus is accepted in the Orange and Brown lots while cash is accepted in all Fair lots. ADA-accessible parking is available in all lots.
The former bus terminal outside the Main Gate, now called the Emerald Lot, will be used for accessible parking. Free shuttles run continuously from the Orange Lot to the Main Gate.
For more information about the fair and to purchase tickets visit https://nysfair.ny.gov.