Romeo: Becoming a citizen and celebrating at the NYS Fair has brought me so much joy. It’s something that’s hard to express because you want to cry, you want to scream. I was looking forward to becoming a citizen for real opportunity. In the past I’ve always been told, “... but you’re not a citizen.” Now I’m so proud to be a part of this country, to be a citizen of these United States is beyond great. It’s really, really great. This is a fact.
Saadi: For me, I am the first one to become a citizen in my family. Life feels different after the ceremony. I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be to celebrate my new citizenship. A man told me, “If you want to see something American, you should see The Great New York State Fair. It represents America. You can see it in all the movies.” It’s something really American and everyone is so welcoming.
Tom and Marcia: We always go to the NYS Fair every year on the Friday before Labor Day. That’s when we celebrate our wedding anniversary. This year it’s our 50th. It’s a tradition and we’ve never missed a year. One of our favorite memories is when we brought our son to the fair for the first time when he was six months old. Tom won a big bear for him. It was too heavy to carry, so we had to push the bear in the stroller and carry our son! We had a Corvette convertible at the time and the bear was so big his head stuck out of the car all the way home. You can imagine the sight!
Jeff: I grew up around poultry since I was big enough to throw feed at them. My favorite part of raising birds is the total variety of the colors, shapes, sizes. One for every mood. I’ve been an exhibitor here, on and off as a kid, for several years. This is where everybody brings their birds in. There are over 360 different breeds recognized by the APA, and two-thirds of them show up here, every year. The best part of doing this is talking to the people, meeting the people, educating them. There are a lot of people who don’t know about poultry. It’s amazing. They get to interact with the birds. That’s what keeps bringing me back. The Great New York State Fair is beyond great because of all the people. Inside and out.
James and Bob: Bob and I have been going to the NYS Fair together ever since we became friends seven years ago. For about ten years, Bob’s been legally blind in one eye and can’t see much with the other eye. We live in the same complex and I’m president of the tenant association—he’s the vice president. He had experienced a few setbacks in his past and never really ventured out much before he met me—he’d never even been to the Fair—he really hadn’t gone anywhere. Since we’ve been friends, I’ve taken him to hundreds of places. We go shopping every day and out to breakfast. He’s blind but he’ll go anywhere. My family’s like his family now. I’ve been going to the NYS Fair every year for the last forty years. This year, I’ll take Bob, my daughter, granddaughter and my son. The Great New York State Fair is a really fun experience for all of us.