State Fair Hound

An independent view of the New York State Fair

Month: February 2015

August Dreamin’

As frigid weather lays heavy over Central New York, do what your State Fair Hound does, think about those glorious August days coming up at the New York State Fair, 2015 version.

We appreciate the Fair helping us to focus on the warm embrace of our favorite event with some early announcements of musical acts on the bill. The bookings of Eric Church and Everclear have been supplemented with a recently-released list of sideshow acts returning to entertain around the grounds.

We can’t disagree with Acting Director Troy Waffner’s assertion that fans will be pleased with the return—after a one-year absence—of the Sea Lion Splash (illustration by Nick LoPresti).


The Hound holds out hope that one day the Fair will become a leader in refusing to book acts that feature wild animals. We don’t believe that the sea lions or the Wolves of the World, also returning this year, are mistreated in any way. But no matter how kindly these creatures are treated, life in captivity, traveling from town to town, can’t satisfy their wild nature and instincts.

Also on the list of acts announced are the Walker Brothers Circus, wandering performers Hilby and Bandolini (Herm Card photo) and Team Sandtastic, builders of the sand sculpture. The complete list is on the Fair’s website,


Prime Pick

A new Fair executive was hired back in November to work with, not replace, Acting Director Troy Waffner.

John Kitchen now occupies the newly-created position of chief of staff, to assist the director with the Fair’s business. Kitchen had been an internal control officer for the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Fair’s parent agency, and he will continue to do that job as well as his new one.

There’s been no announcement regarding the hiring of a permanent Fair Director, though the Hound and other Fair aficionados have made It clear that the appointment of Waffner (pictured at left in a photo by Nick LoPresti) is obviously warranted.


Come on, Gov. Take a look at the 2014 edition for proof that our boy Troy is the person for the job. A flawless run with several records set and numerous improvements unveiled.

2015 is now five weeks old and the Fair website tells us that there are 203 days until the gates open for this year’s event, so make Waffner permanent and let’s move on.

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