The full entertainment agenda for the 2014 New York State Fair should be posted on the website any day, but already we’ve seen an exciting trend toward staging of some potential blockbuster sideshows. We mentioned the Great Lakes shipwrecks exhibit in our July 22 post, Water Works, and there are several more.
The Discover the Dinosaurs attraction sounds like a winner with gigantic mechanical lizards that move and roar. The visitors guide promises that they’re very lifelike, making this an exhibit that will enthrall kids while also entertaining parents. No sponsor was revealed, but doesn’t Dinosaur Bar-B-Que seem like a natural for this one?
Several wild animal acts are perennial favorites, particularly the sea lions (photo by Nick LoPresti) and the birds of prey—no announcement yet on their potential return—and this year’s new act can’t miss with powerful stars that are cousins to our beloved companion, the dog. They’re wild wolves that will perform for fans. The description says visitors will be able to get into the pen with the wolves as they are being fed. Sounds risky, but we trust the trainers to know what they’re doing.
We generally disdain the concept of wild animals being used for entertainment, but we’re hoping that this show prompts fairgoers to get involved with protecting wild wolves, one of nature’s awe-inspiring creatures, from the knuckleheads who fear or hunt them. A more long range aspiration would be for the Fair to become a leader in avoiding wild animal acts in most circumstances.
Two big hits that debuted last year– the cow birthing center and the State Fair History exhibit–are back and bigger. The State Fair Hound is always psyched by the approach of our favorite event, but this year is shaping up as something special.