The Great New York State Fair Makes Its Long-Anticipated Return with 18 Days of The Very Best Food, Agriculture, Entertainment, and Family Fun

Ride-All-Day Midway Wristbands Available at Lowest Prices in State Fair's Special "Stocking Stuffer Sale"

At $3 Per Ticket and Free Admission for People Ages 65 and Up or 12 and Under, this Year’s Fair is the Most Affordable State Fair in the Nation

New Highway Workers Memorial near the Midway Entrance Honors the Highway Workers who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice in the Name of Highway Safety
COVID-19 Vaccinations and Rapid Testing to be Available Each Day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Masks Required Indoors for all Fairgoers and Staff


The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Fair today announced that after a two-year absence amid a global pandemic, the Great New York State Fair is back and better than ever and has officially opened its doors to visitors.  The 18-day Fair, which ends on September 6, once again brings New Yorkers the best in food and agriculture, entertainment, and family fun.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “It feels great to be back at the Great New York State Fair, especially after the difficult past year that we have all faced together.  This year, the Fair has worked hard to make sure that the next 18 days include everything that our fairgoers know and remember—from great food to agricultural exhibits to fantastic music—all while making sure that measures are in place to keep everyone safe.  I am looking forward to celebrating this long time New York tradition and experiencing the very best of New York right here on our Fairgrounds.”

State Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder and if this long sabbatical has proven one thing, it’s that there is still life in the Fair. We’ve been working hard under unprecedented circumstances for two years to bring world class programming to Central New York.  We have put a solid plan in place for a Fair that not only puts the safety of fairgoers at the forefront but helps them enjoy traditions of the past while making new memories for the future.”


The Most Affordable State Fair in the Nation

At $3 for admission, coupled with free admission for people ages 65 and up, and ages 12 and under, the Great New York State Fair is the most affordable major fair in the nation.

This year, with safety at the forefront, cash sales have been eliminated at the Fair’s entrance gates and parking lots.  Kiosks will be available at Gates 1 and 10 for self-service use to purchase tickets for $3 each. Fair vendors will continue to accept cash for purchases.

Tickets and $5 vouchers for parking in the Fair’s lots are available online via the Fair’s official online ticket seller, Etix, or by calling Etix toll-free at 1-800-514-3849 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.  Drivers can also pay for parking by credit card in each lot or by EZPass Plus in the Fair’s Orange and Brown lots.


High Quality, Family Entertainment

From spectacular rides and attractions, courtesy of the Wade Shows Midway, to world class concerts at Chevy Park and Chevy Court, to the best in New York agriculture, there is truly something for everyone at the 2021 Great New York State Fair.   This year’s Fair boasts the best and most diverse line up of music, with more than 50 national touring acts presented in the Chevrolet Music Festival, the largest free music festival at any state fair in America.  All concerts will take place at Chevy Park stage or in the New York Experience festival grounds and are free with $3 admission to the Fair.

Agriculture will be on prominent display at the Fair, with animal agricultural competitions taking place daily. Fairgoers can sample and purchase delicious New York State dairy products in the Dairy Products Building, including a cup of perfectly chilled 25-cent white or chocolate milk at the Milk Bar. Visitors can witness live births of baby calves in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center, where more than 100 farmers, veterinarians, business representatives, and agricultural students volunteer to assist with the births and explain the process to the public.

The Wade Shows Midway will provide rides that range from fun for first-time riders to exciting for veteran thrill-seekers. Rides, games, and food booths in the Midway have been spaced more widely to provide a more comfortable and safer environment. Performers spread around the grounds to offer free shows include a high dive show, a circus and petting zoo, comic juggler Hilby, Bandaloni the one-man band, and others.

The Fair is known for its food and scores of vendors, which will provide everything from crazy deep-fried creations to salads and vegan meals. The Fair’s main buildings will also host dozens of vendors offering merchandise as small as an earring and as large as a hot tub. In addition, many New York state agencies will have booths at the Fair to educate fairgoers about their work and available services.

A highlight of the Fair takes place on Women’s Day, August 25, with a brand new attraction when members of the Highlight Pro Skydiving Team jump out of a plane over the Fairgrounds and stage a choreographed landing in the New York Experience festival grounds. Members of the team will meet with the public in the afternoon to spread the message of empowerment to young women.


Highway Workers Memorial

Also new this year at the Fair is a memorial honoring fallen highway workers across New York that will be formally unveiled during the run of the Fair.  The memorial, which is located near the midway entrance and west of the Horticulture Building on the Fairgrounds, is a fitting tribute to all transportation workers killed while performing their job duties on or near New York's thousands of miles of highways, including State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority employees, municipal highway workers, contractors, consultants, and towing service employees.

The new memorial includes a centerpiece featuring a bronze sculpture of shovels, hard hats and boots on a platform surrounded by four bronze traffic cones and a dedication plaque. Additionally, the first-ever Highway Workers Day will take place on August 28, which will include $1 admission for highway workers and their families.  Proof of employment will be required upon admission.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “This world-class memorial, which will be seen by fairgoers for generations to come, is a powerful reminder of the dangerous jobs that highway workers perform on a daily basis to ensure our transportation network is reliable and safe.  I thank Troy Waffner and his team at the Great New York State Fair for their wonderful partnership in helping this memorial come to life.   Most importantly, I thank the dedicated women and men who work on New York State’s highways and bridges each day, who’s commitment and passion were the inspiration behind this memorial and whose work is critical to the safety of the traveling public.  May this memorial serve as a lasting reminder to all motorists to slow down in work zones, put your phone down and pay attention while driving - lives are at stake and we want to keep our workers safe.”

Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, “The highway workers memorial honors those individuals who paid the ultimate price in working to ensure the safety of all users on our transportation systems. This memorial stands as a testament to those efforts, and to the families who’s loved ones have been lost. These hardworking individuals will never be forgotten, and I encourage all fairgoers to visit the memorial and remember that roadside workers are real people with families that they want to get home to safely. Please slow down, move over and be alert in work zones and don’t risk lives.”


COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

The 2021 Great New York State Fair is making safety a top priority and will offer rapid COVID-19 tests and single-shot vaccinations free of charge to any fairgoer. The effort is offered in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health. Details include:

  • Tests and vaccinations will be offered in the Art & Home Center from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. each day.
  • The single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered along with the Pfizer vaccine for those needing their second shot.
  • Test results should be available while patients wait.
  • The Fair will also host a separate testing center for vendors and their employees, contractors and staff members.
  • The Fair encouraged unvaccinated staff, contractors and vendors to be tested before opening day.


Additionally, pursuant to a local emergency order by Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II, all persons over age 2, regardless of vaccination status, entering an indoor building located on the New York State Fairgrounds, who are medically able to wear a face covering and who have no religious objections, must wear a facial covering while inside a building during the Fair.

Additional actions the Fair has taken to increase safety include:

  • Eliminating cash sales at the gates and in parking lots to reduce close contact
  • Moving large concerts to a much larger area to increase comfort and reduce close contact
  • Offering hand sanitizer and masks at Guest Services booths
  • Continuing to sanitize and deep clean high-traffic areas and surfaces
  • Spacing Midway rides and vendor booths more widely
  • Implementing state and local guidance to require masks for unvaccinated people and masks for all fairgoers inside Fair buildings


The Fair complies with all state and local health guidance and will implement changes should they occur.

Opening Day through Sunday, September 5, the Fairgrounds will be open to the public from 11 am-10 pm daily. On Monday, September 6, 2021 (Labor Day) the Fair will close at 9 pm. These times include all buildings on the grounds.


About the Great New York State 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 Governor Cuomo’s 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, Facebook, Twitter, 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