New York State Fair Opens Next Week in Newly Renovated Fairgrounds

Aug 18, 2017

The logo for the NY state Fair

The New York State Fair is fast approaching and fairgoers have a lot to look forward to.  With only six days left until the fair begins, many are unsure of what to expect now that the first phase of renovations has wrapped up.  Acting State Fair Director Troy Waffner was the guest speaker at today’s FOCUS Greater Syracuse forum.  He discussed attractions and features that attendees will notice during the fair’s 13-day run.

"The fixes from last year, whether it's paving the gravel areas, to programming the western end of the grounds with entertainment and more vendors, to La Feria, which is the Latino weekend, to the new sky ride, to just a variety of new exhibits."

Fairgoers may recall that last year there were parking issues as lots reached capacity and authorities were forced to circulate traffic around the fairgrounds.  Waffner assured the forum there’s an extra four to five hundred new parking spaces this year and new lots were also identified with the assistance of the County Executive’s office.

Director Waffner presenting the new Fairgrounds layout at the FOCUS Forum
Credit Leo Tully / WAER News

"People are probably still fearful of last year with the parking. We got circulated on the roads. All valid complaints. Everyone that comes is going to be parked efficiently this year. If we get the kind of traffic we did last year and we run out of parking then we'll have back-up plans with State Police and Centro that we can go to to relieve the congestion on the highway."

A second phase of $70 million in renovations is set to begin with the conclusion of this year’s State Fair.  That means paving and drainage improvements to the Orange Lot and the first new building on the fairgrounds in decades, a large EXPO center.

The FOCUS Forum crowd at City Hall Commons
Credit Leo Tully / WAER News

"The EXPO building is really the gem of this in that it'll give us this flexible modern space to really be able to market to, whether it's the Mecum Auto Auctions of the world, or big truck shows, or other types of facilities that really need big, open spaces, lots of parking, lots of exhibit space, and that's what we have."

The New York State Fair opens its gates on August 23rd and runs through September 4th. More information on the fair can be found at