State Fair Hound

An independent view of the New York State Fair

Category: Focus on the future (Page 1 of 3)

Start the Countdown

With 20 weeks to go to opening day of the 2018 New York State Fair, State Fair Hound starts the weekly countdown of photos from last year.

Dive into your pre-Fair planning by getting an early look at scheduled events, checking your calendar and budgeting some cash to spend during that magical baker's dozen of summer days.

Dive into your pre-Fair planning by getting an early look at scheduled events, checking your calendar and budgeting some cash to spend during that magical baker’s dozen of summer days.

Framing the Future

The skeleton of the new XXXXXXX

The skeleton of the new expo center is in place on the Fairgrounds, heading toward its debut next summer.

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.

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).

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, nysfair.ny.gov., under “press center.”

Coming Attractions

Projects at the New York State Fairgrounds are underway in several spots. The upgrade of the historic Iroquois Village continues as a new stage is being built for the traditional dancing performances. IV STAGE

 

 

On the midway, concrete foundation footers are being installed to accommodate the debut of the Sky Liner ride, MIDWAY CONSTR. 17a ski lift-type line carrying seated riders above the entire length of the lot.

Meanwhile, one thing that won’t change is the location of the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que stand, which will continue to anchor its corner of the Chevy Court square.

Three-Month Bustle

With about three months to go to New York State Fair opening day 2017, work continues at several spots on the grounds. Here are some sights from a recent visit.

The State Police exhibit is moving to a new location behind the Horticulture Building.

The State Police exhibit is moving to a new location behind the Horticulture Building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grass is growing on the RV park, fulfilling a promise to replace the gravel ground cover.

Grass is growing on the RV park, fulfilling a promise to replace the gravel ground cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classy brick sidewalks will lead to the entrances to the Art and Home Center.

Classy brick sidewalks will lead to the entrances to the Art and Home Center.

 

Air Lift

The shameful changes in our nation’s capital make our own governor look better by comparison and fans of the New York State Fair have to cheer his latest proposal to spend another $70 million for upgrades. MEDIAN 16The highlight of his plan is a gondola–the kind used at ski centers, not the kind used in Venice–to allow patrons to soar over streets and parking lots to go from the grounds to the amphitheater and back.

Another big idea is to build a new on-ramp to I-690 from the parking areas. Not only does State Fair Hound endorse these proposals, both were essentially suggested in earlier Hound posts (Bumper to Bumper to Bumper Cars, 9-8-16 and Travel Channel, 9/26/16).

Does the Gov peruse State Fair Hound for ideas? Not likely. Besides that, these aren’t particularly fresh proposals. In fact, then-Director Peter Cappuccilli, Jr. proposed an airborne transportation system for the Fair as far back as 2004. His dream was a bit more grandiose, with a monorail circling the grounds and even extending to off-site stops such as that infamous shopping mall across the lake.

As acts are booked for the second season at the amp, AMP 2 15State Fair Hound pledges this will be the last time (OK, probably the last time) to remind you that this wouldn’t be necessary if the new stage had been built on the Fairgrounds instead of in its current toxic waste bed site.

That aside, Andy’s plan could go a long way toward smoother, less congested traffic flow and we certainly need that. Not to mention, that gondola sounds like a fun ride.

Countdown Photo–36 Weeks

Will there be changes at Chevy Court for 2017? State Fair Hound will be sniffing out the answer.

Will there be changes at Chevy Court for 2017? State Fair Hound will be sniffing out the answer.

Structured Settlement

Though there may be improvements in available transportation, as suggested in State Fair Hound’s Sep. 26 post, Travel Channel, many people will continue to walk the middle section of the Fair, where the midway runs along between Broadway on one side and the RV park on the other. The addition of more oases with shade, seating and amenities is needed and The Hound has a suggestion. Most of the rest stops this year were tables with umbrellas, which is fine as far as it goes. bw-with-tables-16Bigger, sturdier structures would be a good idea, not only for the protection and comfort they provide, but to give that area a classier, neighborhood look.

Picture wooden pavilions like those in state park picnic grounds, covering tables along with snack or drink vendors and possibly some entertainment. Maybe some clever designer could make them easily assembled and removed to maintain the flexibility that the Fair cherishes.

 

That same concept may be a good idea for some the food vendors who occupied tents this year. Sure, they can do business under a canopy, but rows of tents give the feel of a second-rate county fair. r-row-16Sandwiched between the high-tech midway rides and the lovely permanent buildings, they just looked a little shabby. The Hound wouldn’t be against the idea of building permanent stands, two or three under one roof, as modeled on Restaurant Row. It’s very expensive, but may be worth some money, especially if helps to keep established vendors who are willing to make long-term investments in their annual businesses.

 

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