State Fair Hound

An independent view of the New York State Fair

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 15)

Farewell Baillee

Baillee never attended the New York State Fair, but she enjoyed playing with toys purchased there.

Baillee never attended the New York State Fair, but she enjoyed playing with toys purchased there. The Hound will miss her.

Countdown Photo–22 Weeks

Nursing piglets are a perennial favorite of livestock fans at the new York State Fair.

Nursing piglets are a perennial favorite of livestock fans at the new York State Fair.

Countdown Photo–44 Weeks

The expanded midway provided thrills for riders including these on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

The expanded midway provided thrills for riders including these on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Countdown Photo–45 Weeks

Reported attendance at Chevy Court was down from last year, but is always a popular venue. That's Ted and Amy introducing a show.

Reported attendance at Chevy Court was down from last year, but it’s always a popular venue. That’s Ted and Amy introducing a show.

The Originals

Some Americans are observing Columbus Day this week, recognizing the 15th century explorer credited with “discovering” the continents of the western hemisphere. A growing movement takes another approach, recognizing that the Americas was already inhabited by many civilizations when Columbus landed in the West Indies and his arrival was a precursor to centuries of genocide, brutality and exploitation.

The New York State Fair iv-stage-dance-16honors Native American culture and history, primarily within the Iroquois Village, one of the most popular attractions on the grounds, where descendants of the original inhabitants of New York provide entertainment, traditional food, education and exhibitions to Fairgoers.

The venerable people of the Six Nations, whose Great Law of Peace inspired the United States Constitution, are an indispensable part of the Fair every year. Thus, State Fair Hound salutes the Haudenosaunee people on Indigenous Peoples Day.

 

Countdown Photo–46 Weeks

Many Fair visitors took home a product or two purchased from a demonstrator on the grounds. This pitchwoman sold high-tech mops in the Horticulture Building.

Many Fair visitors took home a product or two purchased from a demonstrator on the grounds. This pitchwoman sold high-tech mops in the Horticulture Building.

Playing For Keeps

Wade Shows didn’t give us a count of how many games of chance set up on the expanded midway, but there did seem to be more–with one exception. State Fair Hound didn’t see any I Got It tents.

Otherwise there were plenty of chances to win at the 2016 New York State Fair.

This prospect stepped into a throw while trying to smash his way to victory.

This prospect stepped into a throw while trying to smash his way to victory.

A couple of big winners had tote their overstuffed prizes off the midway.

These big winners had to tote their overstuffed prizes off the midway.

 

Dazzling

FIREWORKS OVER GATE 16No doubt, the attendance numbers for the 2016 New York State Fair were stunning, shattering the previous record by over 106,000. It’s ironic, though hardly surprising, to realize that the amazing achievements of this year, starting with the redesign, also presented the toughest challenges and provoked the harshest criticism.

There seems to be plenty of space for 100k-plus throngs to swarm the grounds, that’s not the problem. Clearly, getting everyone in and parked was overwhelming, as traffic jams and park-and-ride hassles proved repeatedly. Then there was the challenge of people navigating the grounds, providing patronage for vendors in all corners, including those who were relocated, sometimes grudgingly.TROY INTERVIEW 16

State Fair Hound will take a stab at coming up with some suggestions, while keeping all criticism constructive. Really, how tough can you be on an entertainment venue for being too successful?

There have predictably and appropriately been numerous news reports, several indicating that Fair planners are already looking forward to improving methods and procedures. Don’t forget, the Fair and Acting Director Troy Waffner in particular, are always appreciative for feedback from the public. Submit yours on the website, nysfair.org.

But before we go any further, thanks and congratulations are in order to the Fair staff. State Fair Hound has seen first hand how hard they work DOMINIC 16and how devoted they are to making this event one of the best of it’s kind in the nation. Over the course of the next year, The Hound will occasionally share photos of those who worked so hard. We start today with Troy, above being interviewed, and with Dominic, who spoke with obvious pride about his role in keeping the Fairgrounds looking great.

Thank you everyone. Great job.

 

 

Longhorns and Short Horses

Without barns filled with livestock, it wouldn’t be the New York State Fair. Farm animals are a living foundation and traditional fan favorite. Those who want to see all species on display will have toBEEFER SHOW 16 make a special trip to the western end of the grounds to tour the Beef Cattle barn.

The spacious pole barn was built more recently than most other barn to house hundreds of steers. They’re bigger and scarier than the more familiar dairy cattle and you certainly aren’t likely to reach over to scratch their heads. Still, it’s worth a trip past Talent Showcase and the Cow Birthing tent to meet these bulky bovines, though you may not want a burger after looking into their soulful eyes.

Nearby, the 4-H kids test their equine skills at an outdoor ring. MINI PULLING 16Horse play is always entertaining at the Fair, but these hardworking boys and girls  make it inspiring as well. Friday and Saturday featured competitions for adorable miniature horses, including pulling carts and jumping bars.

Lactose Intolerance

The milk bar price increase, announced last week then rescinded, turned controversial after a renowned animal rights activist criticized the state subsidy that averted doubling the cost of a cup of white or chocolate. Customers, who tolerate long lines to get their bargain moo juice, MILK BAR GAL14were howling at the planned increase before Gov. Cuomo stepped in with $90,000 in state money to avert it.

That brought a letter opposing the subsidy—actually opposing human consumption of milk in general—from Gene Baur, an author and the founder of Farm Sanctuary in nearby Watkins Glen. Though Baur’s letter focuses on his contention that dairy products are unhealthy and contribute to heart disease, diabetes and stroke, his organization decries the raising of livestock for meat, milk and eggs as inhumane, even cruel.

In a state as large as New York, with a fair as diverse as ours, there should be room for differing opinions as well as insightful discussion about farming and nutrition. The dairy industry is one of New York’s largest, providing many financial benefits from taxes to employment. But even supporters have to recognize that the COW TRIO 15cows raised to produce the milk often pay a price, though dairy farm conditions vary widely.

The best way for you to decide how you feel about this controversial subject is to examine the issues and weigh the options. At the Fair, look closely at the animals that play a part in our food industries. Ask questions and gather information that’s available. But don’t stop there. After the Fair, take a drive to Watkins Glen to visit the Farm Sanctuary (www.farmsanctuary.org). Get their perspective on the raising of livestock and the food thus produced.

Take a close look at the facts, then decide what to feed your family.

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