Syracuse-Area Couple Chosen to Receive Free “Wedding On Ice” at The 2018 Great New York State Fair

September 1 will always be a big day for Abby Grovine and CJ Ozimek. The Syracuse-area couple discovered when they began dating that they were each born that day.  And at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 1, 2018 they will be married at the 2018 Great New York State Fair as winners of the “Wedding On Ice” contest. Their love story was chosen at random from nearly 200 stories posted by couples hoping for a wedding at the Fair. (A screenshot of their entry is at the end of this release.)

Grovine and Ozimek will be married -- either by Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner or the legal officiant of their choosing -- on the ice of the temporary rink erected in the new Exposition Center on the Fairgrounds. The only requirement, other than a wedding license, is that the bride and groom have to skate to the altar.  Their attendants and people attending the ceremony do not have to skate. They will stand or sit on rugs on the ice.

The Fair is providing a free hors d’oeuvres and cocktails reception for up to 50 people on the mezzanine level of the Expo Center and a limo ride to the Jefferson Clinton Hotel for the night. They will also receive Lifetime Passes to the Fair. Thanks to a special offer from del Lago Resort and Casino, they will also receive a package worth $1,000 at the resort.

“This is just wonderful. We’ve had fairgoers stage weddings here in the past, but nothing like this. We’re excited to be able to start Abby and CJ’s lives as a married couple.  My only regret is that we couldn’t do this for everyone who posted their stories -- so many of them were remarkable,” said Waffner.

Grovine posted in her contest entry that they met in 2014 when each was working at Michaels Craft Store. “He proposed July 5th, 2016 in Atlantic City, my favorite place on the beach. We have been so happy together and I couldn't ask for a better man who's been through all my ups downs, medical problems. He has always been by my side. Trying to save for our wedding hasn't been an option so we have to keep telling people we are not sure when the special day is,” she wrote.


Del Lago Resort and Casino Contributes Prizes

When del Lago Resort and Casino officials heard about the contest, they offered to sweeten the contest by offering five packages that include a room at the casino’s hotel, dinner at its high-end Portico Restaurant, a treatment at del Lago’s spa, and a chauffeured wine tasting at one of del Lago’s partner wineries in a del Lago Denali.  One package will go to Grovine and Ozimek. The other four will go to entrants whose stories were chosen by Fair staffers: Carolyn Blaisdell, Raavel Lopez, Neq Fair and Ursula Friedrich.

“We are excited to partner with the New York State Fair on an exciting contest and could not be happier for the winning couple, Abby and CJ. We wish them the best as they start the next chapter of their lives together and are honored to be a part of it,” said Crystal Paolelli, del Lago Resort and Casino Director of Advertising.

Ten other entrants will receive Fair admission passes.


About del Lago Resort & Casino

Del Lago Resort & Casino is a $440 million casino, 205-room hotel and spa in Waterloo, New York. The mission behind del Lago Resort & Casino has been to act as a gateway to the Finger Lakes region, leveraging the natural beauty and unique offerings while enhancing tourism. Del Lago Resort & Casino features 1,956 slot machines and 99 gaming tables, including 14 poker tables; award-winning Portico by Fabio Viviani, a restaurant serving with a sophisticated take on Old World Italian-inspired foods and spirits; 4,200-square-foot food court; The Vine, a 2,400-person entertainment center, bar and restaurant; Farmers Market Buffet, featuring locally sourced comfort foods and Centrifico, a bar/lounge area in the center of the gaming floor. The hotel wing features The Sociale Café & Bar, serving “gastro spa” cuisine and beverages, Lavazza Italian coffee shop, serving homemade pastries and gelato and the 14,000-square-foot European-style Spa del Lago. For more information, visit 


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