Opening Day at The Expo Center: Exhibition Hockey, Meet-and-Greet with Pro Hockey Stars, Free Open Skating

Thirteen days of programming unlike any ever seen in the long history of the Great New York State Fair begins tomorrow with professional hockey players and some youngsters who would like to be professionals someday.

At 1 p.m., the Juniors teams of the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders will play an exhibition match, the first event on the temporary ice rink installed in the Fair’s new Exposition Center. From 10 a.m. – Noon, ex-Sabres Larry Playfair and Cody McCormick and retired Islander Pat Flatley will sign autographs and meet hockey fans inside the Expo Center. The day will conclude with free open skating for any fairgoer. Skates are available free of charge.

The day focused on hockey kicks off a Fair filled with special events on the ice. The schedule includes:

  • Curling sessions open to fairgoers Thursday and Friday, Aug. 23 – 24;
  • A two-day broomball tournament featuring teams from as far away as North Carolina, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25 – 26;
  • A hockey tournament among police department teams, Monday, Aug. 27;
  • A hockey tournament among fire department teams, Tuesday, Aug. 28;
  • A speed skating tournament, Wednesday, Aug. 29;
  • A sled hockey tournament and an opportunity for fairgoers to try sled hockey, Thursday, Aug. 30;
  • A figure skating tournament during the day on Friday, Aug. 31;
  • An appearance by the Hanson Brothers, characters in the classic hockey comedy “Slap Shot,” followed by a screening of the movie in the evening on Aug. 31;
  • A two day youth hockey tournament Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1 – 2;
  • A wedding on ice at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2;
  • A silent disco on ice at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2;
  • More youth hockey and sled hockey on Monday, Sept. 3.


The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 22 to September 3, 2018. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at