It’s all there at the Fair! With the start of the New York State Fair now just one week away, the Press Office continues to field hundreds of questions each day. We have logged our 25 most popular inquiries below, and have sorted them according to five topics:
- What’s New?
- Parking, Transportation & Accessibility
- Midway & Entertainment
- General Policy
Q: What’s new at The Fair this year?
The Great New York State Fair is thrilled to present a “Full Fair Experience” following challenges presented by the pandemic. Fairgoers can expect to see all of their favorite exhibits, including the Sand Sculpture (which is back in the Center of Progress Building), the Butter Sculpture (in the Dairy Products Building), and all of the animals in their respective barns to highlight New York agriculture.
In addition, there are two new exhibits to look forward to, and one interactive social media experience.
- New York State Energy & Environment Experience: From wind turbines to electric vehicles to smart homes, fairgoers will see the many ways that energy is enhancing our lives and helping the environment. Presented by various state agencies including The New York Power Authority, Energy Research and Development Authority, Public Service, Canal Corporation and the Department of Environmental Conservation, the exhibit is located in the Center of Progress Building.
- Skilled Trades & Manufacturing Exhibit: Fairgoers may find their first or their next career at the Science and Industry Building, where companies will be looking for workers in the skilled trades and manufacturing industries. They’ll offer hands-on demonstrations showing fairgoers what it’s like to work in the fields of general, mechanical and electrical construction, industrial processing and manufacturing. Presented by C&S Companies, different companies will be represented every day during the Fair’s 13-day run.
- The Butterizer: Fairgoers are encouraged to participate in a fun, interactive social media exercise where they can see what they’d look like as a Butter Sculpture. By scanning a QR code – which will be accessible on signage in the Dairy Products Building, and on the 2022 State Fair Map – fairgoers can cue up a “Butterizer” filter in Instagram, which will superimpose their face onto a display of a Butter Bust. Fairgoers are encouraged to share the information on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags, #NYSFair and #ButterizeMe. The Butterizer feature will work anywhere – you don’t necessarily have to be on the Fairgrounds to participate in this fun.
PS: Throughout this FAQ documentation, look for “New this year,” to signify other exciting, new details.
Q: Glad to hear animals are back! Is there anything else that fairgoers haven’t seen in a few years that’s returning?
- World of Horses: Fairgoers will have opportunities to learn about the lives and needs of horses at the revived World of Horses exhibit, thanks to a partnership with SaddleUpNY! World of Horses provides training and education to fairgoers, spanning everything from how to keep a horse as a pet, to knowledge needed for competitions, to what it looks for horses to be involved with police work and next career options. World of Horses takes place in the barn along Sioux Avenue on the Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Labor Day. Click here for more information.
- Sea Lion Splash Show: The Sea Lion Splash Show, most recently part of the Fair’s entertainment in 2016, returns to the entertainment line-up on the grounds. Many fairgoers may have fond memories – and pictures – of themselves and their children posing with a sea lion at the end of a show. The sea lions will perform three times daily during the week, and four times daily on the weekends. Click here for more information.
- Favorite Food Vendors: The majority of the food vendors who were on-site in 2021 are returning for the 2022 Fair, and there are 15 new vendors to check out too! Click here for a list of all of the participating food vendors.
Q: How much is admission? How can I purchase admission tickets to The Fair?
- Admission to the Fair is $3, and free for those 65 years old and up, and for children 12 years old and younger.
- There are three ways to buy admission: In-advance online, in-advance over the phone, and in-person during the Fair at all gates through electronic kiosks.
- Online: The link to purchase tickets is live at this link: NYSFair.NY.Gov.
- Over the Phone: Tickets may also be purchased over the phone by calling Etix toll-free at 1-800-514-3849 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
- At the Gate: Kiosks positioned at all gates will be used for electronic ticket purchases. Large signs featuring QR codes will direct fairgoers to the Fair’s website to purchase tickets.
Q: Do I have to get tickets in advance? Can I purchase admission tickets at the entrance?
- Yes, tickets may be purchased at gates, but note, there will be no cash sales at the Fair’s entrance gates or in parking lots.
Q: Is there a $1 Admission Day This Year?
- No, there will be no $1 dollar admission days to The Fair this year. At $3, admission to the Great New York State Fair remains one of the most affordable State Fairs in the United States.
Q: What about free admission on “Special Days?”
- Student Youth Day: Youth and students, ages 18 years old and younger, will receive free admission on Thursday, August 25. In some cases, they may be asked for photo identification to verify their birthday.
- Fire & Rescue Day: Those who are active and retired members of fire departments or an emergency medical services organization - paid and volunteer - will receive free admission with photo identification on Fire & Rescue Day, set for Wednesday, August 31.
- Armed Forces Day: All members of the military – active duty and veteran - will receive free admission with proper military identification (Military ID card, form DD-214 or a government issued I.D. with a veteran designation) on Armed Forces Day, scheduled for Thursday, September 1.
- Native Americans Day: All people who identify as Native American will receive free admission on Friday, September 2.
Parking, Transportation & Accessibility:
Q: How do I purchase parking for the State Fair?
- Parking ($5) tickets may be purchased online in advance through Etix. On the day(s) you visit, you may show your ticket to parking attendants electronically on your phone or show a printed copy. In the Orange and Brown lots, parking may also be paid for using EZPass Plus.
- Parking may also be purchased in-person in the parking lots using a debit or credit card.
Q: Where do I park?
- The New York State Fairgrounds has parking for 23,000+ vehicles. Parking is available in designated Orange (starting at 10:00 am daily), Brown, Pink and Gray lots (starting at 6:00 am daily), and during the weekends at the Willis Avenue lot (starting at 10:00 am Fridays through Sundays and Labor Day).
- Additional information about parking lots, hours, and parking costs can be found on the State Fair’s Website. Click here to view a Parking Map, broken down by colors.
Q: What if I have an accessible parking tag, or license plate?
Fairgoers living with disabilities – or transporting those living with disabilities – may park in either of the Fair’s two paved accessible parking lots for $5:
- The Pink Accessible Parking Lot is located on State Fair Boulevard, across from Gate 3.
- The Gray Accessible Parking Lot is located on the west end of the Fairgrounds, off of State Fair Boulevard. Enter through Gate 6.
- Please note, a limited number of parking spaces are reserved for those living with disabilities in the Orange Lot and unpaved Brown Lot.
Q: Where are the Centro pick-up and drop-off locations?
- Fairgoers will recognize the Centro drop-off and pick-up point is just to the left of the Main Gate, the same place it was last year.
- Centro buses will run continuously to and from the Main Gate from the Syracuse Transit Hub in Downtown Syracuse, and Park-N-Ride locations at Destiny USA in Syracuse, and Long Branch Park in Liverpool. The last shuttle of the day is around 12 a.m. (Midnight).
- Cost: A one-way ride costs $1, and $.50 for people living with a disability, and children ages 6 to 9 years old. Centro is free for those who are under 6 years old.
- Parking at a Park-N-Ride location is free of charge.
- Please note, masks are required on Centro buses.
Q: What about transportation on the Fairgrounds?
- For the convenience of fairgoers, trams run continuously on the Fairgrounds, stopping at nine stops from 10 a.m. am to 10 p.m.. There is also a dedicated ADA shuttle that runs between the Gray Accessible Parking lot, located outside Gate 10 to Tram Stop #3 at the rear entrance of the Horticulture Building from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Midnight). Click here to view all nine tram stops.
Q: Are there designated Ride Share locations?
- Yes, Ridesharing and Taxi Services may pick-up and drop-off fairgoers inside the Pink Parking lot, positioned along State Fair Boulevard between Gates 3 and 4. There is no pick-up or drop-off at the Main Gate at any time, and the Ridesharing/ Taxi area is not to be used for drop-off and pick-up by non-service type vehicles. Click here to view a map outlining the area.
Q: Are there Accessible Restrooms?
- The State Fair has a variety of restrooms distributed throughout the Fairgrounds. For locations, please click here, or pick up one of the maps of the Fairgrounds found at any Guest Relations Booth while you’re at The Fair. The State Fair’s Accessible Restrooms are depicted in blue, and its All-Gender/Family Restrooms are depicted in purple.
Midway & Entertainment:
Q: How much is it to ride Midway rides? / How do I purchase Midway tickets?
- Individual ride tickets can be purchased at any Wade Shows ticket booth on the Midway during the New York State Fair for $6.25 for five tickets.
- Wristbands, which grant “Ride All Day Access,” can be purchased online in advance for $25/person (Monday through Friday) and for $30 (Saturday and Sunday) by 12 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24. Click here to purchase tickets online. After the Fair starts, armbands will be available for $30 on weekdays and $35 on weekends at The Fair.
- New this year, Wade Shows is using “Fair Pass” a digital ticketing app, that allows fairgoers to purchase tickets electronically through the FunTagg App,and avoid waiting in line. The FunTagg App is available through the App Store or Google play. While at The Fair, fairgoers can look for FunTagg Kiosks to load credit onto a card electronically. More information is available at Wade Shows’ website - scroll down about halfway to learn more.
Q: How many rides does the Wade Shows Midway have?
- The Wade Shows Midway has more than 50 rides. Click here to read descriptions and scope out thrills.
Q: How many tickets do the rides take?
- Each ride takes between two and five tickets to ride.
Q: Where is the Chevrolet Music Series Concert Schedule posted?
- The Chevrolet Music Series schedule, featuring international recording artists and local and regional acts, is provided at the State Fair’s website and is free with Fair admission. Click here to view the Chevy Court schedule. Click here to view the Chevy Park schedule.
Q: Will more concerts be announced?
- While most of the shows have been announced, there are four more concert announcements planned (as of 8/17).
Q: What is the difference between Chevy Court and Chevy Park?
- The Chevy Court Stage is located in front of the Fairgrounds, not far from Gate 1. Concerts at Chevy Court are set for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily, except for Labor Day. Chevy Court is known for its more intimate, bleacher-style seating.
- The Chevy Park Stage is located in the rear of the Fairgrounds in the Experience Area., closest to Gate 10 and 11. At Chevy Park, concerts start at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., except on Labor Day. At Chevy Park, bleacher style seats are available on a first-come, first-served bases, but there are also Adirondack Chairs to choose from. This venue provides more of a “park feel” than Chevy Court.
- On Labor Day, Chevy Court concerts start at 12 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Chevy Park concerts start at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Q: Where can I find a list of other entertainers at the Fair?
- The Fair keeps a running list of attractions on its website, found under the “Entertainment” tab. Here, fairgoers will find a list of Grounds Entertainment – including the return of Hilby, the Skinny German Juggle Boy, Bandaloni the One Man Band, and the Sea Lion Splash Show, which is returning after a six-year hiatus.
- There are also stages located in the Pan-African Village, Latino Village (September 2 – September 5) and Indian Village.
- Daily Schedules are continuously updated, and are provided here, found under the “Your Visit” tab on the Fair’s website.
Q: Are parades returning? When are they?
Parades will step off from the Exposition Center on the following days and times:
- Pride Day, August 26 at 6 p.m.
- Law Enforcement Day, August 29 at 6 p.m.
- Fire & Rescue Day, August 30 at 6 p.m.
- Armed Forces Day, September 1 at 6 p.m.
- Labor Day, September 5 at 10:30 a.m.
Q: What are the best values at The Fair?
With $3 admission, The Great New York State Fair remains one of the most affordable State Fairs in the country, but that’s not where the deals stop!
- Dollar Days on The Midway: On Labor Day, Monday, September 5, all the rides on the Wade Shows Midway will be $1 per ride (excluding the Broadway Skyliner). On Labor Day, The Midway is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Last Call for “Dollar Day” Midway Sales is at 7:30 p.m. Ride tickets are only available for purchase at Wade Shows’ Ticket Booths on The Midway.
- Favorite Fair Foods:
- A family of four can enjoy four perfectly chilled cups of milk for $1 at the Dairy Products Building. The tradition of $.25 Milk continues thanks to the New York State Milk Bar Operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension. White Milk and Chocolate Milk will be poured daily during The Fair. On the Fair’s Final Weekend, White Milk will be swapped out for Strawberry Milk.
- Fairgoers can enjoy a $1 Baked Potato or Sweet Potato with all the fixings at The Great Potato Booth, located in the Horticulture Building.
- New this year, dozens of vendors are participating in a new promotion where they provide a sample of a signature dish – or a new concoction – for $2. The “Try 1 for $2” promotion features festival staples including meatballs, lemonade and root beer floats, as well as more interesting delicacies like kangaroo Spiedies, deep fried delights and ice cream nachos. Click here to sample with your eyes!
- Free Entertainment: Between international and national recording artists at Chevy Court and Chevy Park, grounds entertainment, and live music at various bars and restaurants located throughout the Fairgrounds, there are ample opportunities to enjoy free, world class entertainment. Start to plan your Fair Day(s) by clicking here.
Q: What is The Fair doing to help ensure the safety of visitors and provide peace of mind?
- The Fair takes matters of safety and security very seriously. Year-round, The Fair’s Emergency Management Office holds exercises with partners at the local, state and federal level to identify ways to make a strong system even stronger. Keeping fairgoers, vendors and all Fair staff safe, is the top priority. Click here to read The Fair’s Rules of Conduct policy.
Q: What COVID protocols are The Fair implementing?
- The State Fair will follow guidelines recommended by the CDC and state Department of Health. As of this time, Wednesday, August 17, there are no restrictions in place.
- There will be bottles of hand sanitizer available for distribution, placed at gates and points of interest. In addition, dozens of restrooms provide ample amounts of soap and hand sanitizer.
- Masks are not required in buildings, but we ask fairgoers, staff and visitors to proceed with what they’re comfortable with.
- The Fair will have masks available on a first-come, first-served basis in mask dispensers at building entrances.
- *Please note, masks are still required on public transportation, so fairgoers utilizing Centro Services – including shuttling from parking lots into the Fairgrounds – will need to wear masks while aboard Centro buses.
Q: What is the Fair’s policy on smoking on the grounds?
- Smoking is prohibited by law inside all Fair buildings, and by policy at Chevy Court and Chevy Park concert venues. Smoking will only be permitted in one of six confined areas designated for smoking as seen on this map.
- Any product that is legal to smoke in New York State can be smoked within the designated area.
The Fair begins next Wednesday, August 24, and continues through Monday, September 5. Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of the state’s CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. It is oldest state fair in the United States, and the third largest fair in the country.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Audiences are encouraged to learn more about the Great New York State Fair online, and follow the fun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Guests are invited to see photos from the Fair on Flickr and ideas are always welcome. New Yorkers are encouraged to send suggestions via email to email@example.com.