A graffiti artist seems like an odd attraction for the New York State Fair, but the elongated canvas splashed by Arcy during the baker’s dozen of Fair days was more than a colorful wall. His New York-themed panorama was a collage of people and places, bisecting Times Square and dressing up the entertainment lawn.
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A tent next to the new Empire Experience pond features a replica of the gunboat USS Philadelphia that carried General Benedict Arnold and his Continental Army troops in 1776 during the Revolutionary War. The original Philadelphia, the oldest surviving American fighting naval vessel, was discovered in Lake Champlain in 1935 and is now housed at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
The 15-foot long replica was assembled onsite opening day by a team led by Erich Tichonuk, co-executive director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT.
Throughout the Fair, the exhibit will include the completed Philadelphia replica, daily wooden boat building demonstrations, a shipwreck display and educational boating exhibits. The Great Lakes Research Consortium 24-7 sensing buoy will transmit data from an in-water remotely operated vehicle floating in pond.
The free exhibit opens daily at 10 am.
The classic complaint that the Fair is the same every year has surely been put to rest over the past couple of Fairs. State Fair Hound has spotted some terrific new features to pass along.
The Empire Experience area debuts this year between the midway and the racing stables. It a massive grassy spot with a large, technically efficient stage where three free shows will perform daily, featuring many tribute bands plus local favorites the Ripcords, Ruby Shooz and Fritz’s Polka Band. The complete schedule is on the Fair website, nysfair.ny.gov.
The focal point is a human-made pond that is being used for various exhibits and activities, including a day of fishing. There’s a tiki bar at water’s edge and exhibit tents with vendors nearby as curious Fair patrons take their initial tour.
Fairgoers seem to be slow in discovering this vast new territory as it’s been lightly attended thus far. This is to be expected as the expanded Fairgrounds has so much new to explore. But it certainly adds an exciting dimension with tremendous potential for future exhibits and entertainment.
At this year’s New York State Fair, every cat will have its day, at least if it’s a lynx. Hawk Creek Wildlife Center is hosting demonstrations featuring three kinds of the felines, sometimes called bobcats or wildcats, daily at Noon, 2:30 and 4:30.
The 30-minute presentation takes place in a white tent tucked into the corner between the Horticulture Building and the International Pavilion, not far from the State Police exhibit. There you can meet Meisha, an African Serval, pictured at left, and Rena, a Eurasian Lynx. Kodiak, a Canada Lynx, represents a breed native to New York and the most familiar looking of the trio.
Staff tells their stories and gives a lot of background on the breeds, but the cats, which aren’t much larger than house cats, have to stay in their cages.
Three non-feline animals are also presented–Dakota, a gray fox, Ripper, a porcupine and Oz, a kudamundi. Hawk Creek, which has been hosting a birds of prey exhibit for the past few years, focuses on education and conservation, always showing fascinating animals that add entertainment and appreciation of our wildlife.
All presentations are free of charge.
There have been some improvements to one of the New York State Fair’s best features, known last year as Equine Avenue. The newly-expanded, World of Horses lets visitors get close to horses—as depicted in this photo by State Fair Hound’s Nick LoPresti—and is a wealth of information and entertainment about them.
This year they’ll be celebrating the success of Olympic equestrians, particularly gold medal winning New Yorkers Beezie Madden of Cazenovia and McLain Ward of Brewster. No appearances by our Olympians have been announced, but that would be a real coup for the Fair, if arranged.
Fairgoers can learn about breeds, care, physiology and all things equine. There will be games, prizes, trivia and photo ops. Best of all, there will be friendly horses within petting range.