The Final Stretch of The 2021 Great New York State Fair Delivers Puerto Rican Garbage Plates, Rock-N-Roll, Roosters, The Six-Horse Hitch, and Funk

Toyota Coliseum

It’s not over until the final fried meal is served with a cup of strawberry milk! The 2021 Great New York State Fair is heading into the long holiday weekend with much to do, including the arrival of the Latino Village, an all-Spanish show on Chevy Court, JAMS Funk Fest, Joan Jett, Cheap Trick, and a rooster crowing championship.

Desserts are on the menu for the first time in the Latino Village, open from September 3-6. Ten performances are scheduled at the Village’s Talent Showcase Stage, including the popular Latino Village Drag Show on Sunday at 4 p.m. Plus, a musician who survived Hurricane Maria will perform alongside a band mate who helped him build a new life in Central New York. Their band 2Face Orquesta performs Saturday at 8 p.m., and fans can enjoy a diverse selection of plena, bomba, bachata, salsa, and merengue.

Guests in the Latino Village can take a walk to Chevy Court on September 5 when the Mavericks perform an all-Spanish show at 2 p.m., followed by an English version at 7 p.m. Rock-n-roll lovers welcome Joan Jett back to the fairgrounds at 1 p.m. on September 6 at Chevy Park, and Cheap Trick takes over the same stage at 6 p.m., closing out the 2021 Fair concert season.

The Syracuse JAMS Funk Fest is giving a nod to the King of Funk Punk, Buffalo native Rick James. Long before his death in 2004, James toured the country with the Original Stone City Band. The group will make a stop at Chevy Court at 8 p.m. on September 4, as headliners for the day-long festival. Ahead of that, the Mary Jane Girls, who provided studio background vocals for James, will take the stage with Val Young at 6:30 p.m.

The top hitches in the country are vying for a coveted spot in the North American Classic Six-Horse Hitch Series Finals during this final qualifying weekend of the Fair. The event held a special place in the heart of former show manager and promoter, Naomi Blumenthal, who died in December 2020. The Fair will rename its show ring in Toyota Coliseum in memory of Ms. Blumenthal at 4 p.m. on September 4, 2021.

It gets noisy in the Poultry Barn when judges count the calls of the wild during the rooster crowing championship. Families come back year after year with their prized roosters, who compete for the most crows with a time limit. The champion heads home with cash and a blue ribbon. The contest is held each day at 4 p.m. through the end of the Fair, when the final champion is crowned.

Arcy Live! features the amazing talents of a mural artist. Visitors can watch the oversized painting come together each day between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Exposition Center. That’s where fairgoers can also check out the final stage of the Team Sandtastic sand sculpture, which honors emergency workers this year.

Sports fans can catch a game at the Sports Activity Center on September 4-5. The Boys Elite AAU Basketball Tournament brings together the top high school players from the Northeast. Teams competing at the Fair are from Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Victor, and Adirondack.

Finally, the giant coolers at the Milk Bar in the Dairy Products Building will be filled with strawberry and chocolate milk for the final four days of the Fair. Both flavors cost just 25¢ per cup. If demand for strawberry remains high, the Milk Bar operator will consider adding new flavors during future runs of the Fair.


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 the 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, FacebookTwitter, 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