Free admission every day for those age 65+ and 12 and under
Admissions and parking available online or by toll-free call
The 2021 Great New York State Fair is now the most affordable state fair in the nation with admission tickets now on sale for $3 each—the lowest regular admission price of any major fair. People ages 65 and up will now be admitted free every day of the Fair. That is in addition to the Fair’s longstanding tradition of free admission for children ages 12 and under and for certain groups on special honorary days.
Tickets and $5 vouchers for parking in the Fair’s lots are available online via the Fair’s official online ticket seller, Etix, or by calling Etix toll-free at 1-800-514-3849 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “We have worked for several years now to make the Fair more accessible to all New Yorkers, regardless of their income. While other state fairs charge $10, $15 or even $20 for admission, we’re driving our prices down and increasing the number of people who can get in for free. Our State’s fair is for everyone. We've had a year away from our fans and we can’t wait to be together with them again.”
There will be no cash sales at the Fair’s entrance gates or in parking lots. Kiosks will be available at gates 1 and 10 for self-service use to purchase admissions. Large signs with QR codes will be at all gates so patrons can use their phones to link directly to the ticket purchase site. Drivers can pay for parking by credit card in each lot or by EZPass Plus in the Fair’s Orange and Brown lots. EZ Pass Plus is a free add-on to EZ Pass that allows it to be used to pay for parking in addition to highway tolls.
With fees, each admission ticket is $3.18 and each parking voucher is $5.23. Up to 20 tickets can be purchased. Etix advises that because so many festivals and fairs are operating this year, its call center is taking a very high volume of calls. Customers who are asked to leave their names and phone numbers for a call-back will have their calls returned often within several hours but always within 24 hours.
The Fair will continue to follow guidelines provided by the State and will adjust its policies as necessary. Fairgoers who have not been vaccinated will be asked to wear a mask. Vendors will be spaced apart to provide safe distancing outdoors while indoor vending areas will feature wider aisles and more open layouts. The Fair will be providing regular additional cleaning of high-traffic and high-touch areas. Fairgoers should maintain safe distances when in lines.
As in previous years, the 2021 Fair will feature hundreds of food, merchandise, and information vendors located throughout the grounds and in buildings. Approximately 50 national touring acts will perform on the Chevy Park and Chevy Court stages, the largest schedule of free concerts in the nation. Talented entertainers, such as perennial favorites Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy and Bandaloni will perform around the grounds. Also, the Wade Shows Midway will feature some 55 exciting rides as well as games and food.
The Fair is maintaining its tradition of special days to honor members of our community. Special days with free admission include:
- Fidelis Care Youth & Student Day on August 21, free for those age 18 and under
- Fire/Rescue Day on August 23, free for active and retired fire or emergency services workers with ID
- Women’s Day on August 25, offering $1 admission for all women. Special tickets for this day will go on sale that morning.
- Law Enforcement Day on August 31, free for police and corrections officers with ID
- Armed Forces Day on September 2, free to current or retired military with ID
- Native American Day on September 3, free for tribal members
The Fair will also continue to mark Governor’s Day (Aug. 20), Dairy Day (Aug. 26), Pride Day (Aug. 27), New Americans Day (Aug. 27), Beef Day (Aug. 31), and Labor Day (Sept. 6) though all public ceremonies normally held on some of those days will not occur this year with the exception of the Naturalization Ceremony on New Americans Day. The Wade Shows Midway will maintain the tradition of offering all Midway rides for $1 on Labor Day.
Fairgoers will see a few changes at this year’s fair. The Youth Building will be closed and youth livestock shows will not be taking place. The Witter Agricultural and Carriage museums will also be closed. The Art & Home Center will be open, but the Demonstration Kitchen and Empire Theater will be closed, and the quilting competition will not take place. A few other competitions such as the culinary competition, will also not take place, while the majority will be back for 2021. For a complete list of the competitions that are taking place this year, please visit the Fair’s website.
Thanks to the efforts of New Yorkers to battle COVID-19, the Fair will be open with no restrictions on attendance. Safety guidance can change and prospective fairgoers are advised to follow the Fair’s social media sites, sign up for the Fair’s email newsletter, or closely follow the Fair’s website to get the latest developments.
Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair is America’s third largest state fair. The Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of Governor Cuomo’s CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. Fair attendance is up more than 46% since the beginning of more than $120 million in investments, with 1.33 million people attending the Fair in 2019. The 2021 Fair runs from August 20 to September 6.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Find the Great New York State Fair on its website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and enjoy photos from the Fair on Flickr. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair to email@example.com.