State Fair Hound

An independent view of the New York State Fair

200 To Go

There are now 200 days to the opening of the 2018 New York State Fair. Snow still coats the Chevy Court turf, bone-chilling winds whip down the midway and there’s an icy coating on the posts that await the second running of the Broadway Sky Liner, SL POSTS 17but it’s encouraging to mark a turning point as we head toward 13 exhilarating days of Empire State fun.

The Fair celebrated the occasion by announcing a second act for the upcoming concert season, soul great Smokey Robinson. The falsetto master will play the evening of Aug. 27, following that day’s afternoon performance of Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits, returning as a perennial Chevy Court favorite.  HERMITS 17


Here’s another sure sign that the season is approaching–State Fair Hound is gently pressing the throttle, looking forward to our sixth Fair. The coming days will feature new posts, photos and commentary, gradually picking up the pace as melting snow gives way to warmer days and increasing anticipation of Aug. 22, now 200 days away.

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If you're wondering what the perfect Christmas tree looks like, New York State tree growers chose this beauty at last year's State Fair.

If you’re wondering what the perfect Christmas tree looks like, New York State tree growers chose this beauty at last year’s State Fair.

New York’s Cavalry

The expanded and relocated State Police exhibit area at the 2017 New York State Fair attraction featured appearances by mounted troopers. THATWAY 17The horses were an exciting addition to an already popular exhibition. When dismounted, officers chatted with visitors and allowed petting of their steeds. The horses took their place alongside police dogs in promoting good community relations for troopers at the Fair. Look forward to a return engagement next year.

Digging It

The New York State Fair isn’t wasting any time preparing for next year. Ground has been broken for two highly anticipated projects, continuing the expansion and improvement of the Expo Center. MW CONSTR. 17Inside the grounds, space is being cleared for  the new exhibition building. It’s going up just past the western terminus of the Broadway Sky Liner.

Meanwhile, excavation of the Orange parking lot can be seen just off the Camillus Bypass. It’s scheduled to be paved and reorganized by next Fair (Orange and Blacktop, Oct. 17, 2o17).

Wild and Wooly

You know it’s autumn when alpacas invade the New York State Fairgrounds. The cuddly mammals will fill the exhibit center from Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission and parking are free for a program filled with judging events, vendors, exhibits and a photo contest. 3 ALPACAS 16These remarkable creature, native to the Andes Mountains of South America will inhabit dozens of pens, sometimes with reach of visitors, although they are notoriously shy, often avoiding people intent on giving them a pat.

As fall winds bring cool weather, it may be a good idea to pick up some gloves, hats, socks, and sweaters knitted from alpaca fur, as warm and soft as any wool you will find.



Orange and Blacktop

The state has released the plan for renovation of the New York State Fair orange parking lot, the massive prairie that lies between I-690 and Onondaga Lake. The $27 million dollar upgrade plan calls for paving the entire lot, which is also used for concerts at the Lakeview Amphitheater. BUS TO ORANGE

As you’ve read previously on State Fair hound, a paved, lined version of the Big Orange not only makes it a smoother parking experience for motorists, it helps reduce congestion on the interstate by getting cars off the highway and into spaces quicker. Improved access ramps to and from the 65-acre lot are also in the works.

Additionally, the Fair estimates that thousands more cars will fit thanks to the organization that comes with a white-line grid, while better drainage will prevent loss of space to ponding of rainwater on the surface. Better lighting will be added, increasing the odds you can actually find your vehicle after a day on the grounds.

There’s an impressive rendering of the finished project on the Fair website,, under “press center.”


Every Day at the New York State Fair is Indigenous Peoples Day.

Every Day at the New York State Fair is Indigenous Peoples Day. State Fair Hound salutes our Haudenosaunee neighbors.

Falling Away

A recent trip to the New York State Fairgrounds, now over a month after closing with a bang on a record Labor Day, was stunning in how empty the site looks despite a large RV sale and a popular horse show. SL POSTS 17

The long-range vista is now permanently defined by posts left in place after disassembly of the Broadway Skyliner. Memories of off-season visitors will be stimulated by the 35-foot-high orange beams, now stripped of the seats.




So far, the colorful mural painted during the Fair still stands in the Times Square area. ARCY WALL 17State Fair info guy Dave Bullard tells The Hound that the plan is for the wall to remain a part of the grounds, in a yet-to-be-determined location

Upbeat in a Downpour

State Fair Hound salutes Fair fans who came out on day 12 despite the rain. This tenacious bunch camped out at Chevy Court all day for a concert.

RAINY CC 17It’s not too soon to stock up on raingear for next year. If you’re properly equipped, every day at the Fair is a great day.

Map Quest

Visitors to the 2017 New York State Fair were most likely better oriented to recent layout changes and more able to locate their favorite vendors and attractions. The Fair used a creative, low-tech method to assist them by floating balloons over various areas to lead people to them.   MKT PLACE BALLOON 17That kind of creativity and resourcefulness, complemented by more modern techniques, such as drone-assisted monitoring of parking and traffic, are needed as the Fair continues to grow.

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