State Fair Provides Tributes, Fun and Still Maintains Agricultural Traditions

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Will Barclay
The Great New York State Fair will once again kick off on Aug. 27 and run until Sept. 7.

The State Fair’s history in Syracuse is long and proud.

The annual 12-day event has steadily expanded since its early days.

In 1841, the nation’s first state fair was held in Syracuse and there was said to have been some 10,000 people who heard speeches, viewed animal exhibits, attended a plowing contest, and sampled goods for the farm and the home.

Despite modern times, the mission of the fair hasn’t changed much.

Visitors can still see all of the animal exhibits and learn about our rich agricultural heritage.

Dairy Day, Aug. 31, is a highlight, and all those in attendance are invited to view and taste award-winning cheeses, milks and other dairy products.

There will be a milkshake contest and the famous big cheese auction that day as well.

The fair recently added the Taste NY Tent, which features New York state produce and manufactured products.

This is in addition to the Taste NY Wine, Beer and Spirits tent behind Chevy Court.

It is good that there is a continued emphasis on homegrown produce so that our farmers can benefit from the marketing at the State Fair.

The fair also showcases our youth with exhibits and live entertainment.

The 4-H building, for example, showcases many of our area youth’s contributions, and countless other buildings and tents showcase the young talent of our region.

This year on Armed Forces Day, Sept. 3, the fair will unveil a new War Dogs Memorial.

This exhibit is intended to honor dogs that assisted in the war efforts as sentries, scouts or trackers in wars.

This will complement the Veterans Memorial which opened in 1999.

Admission to the fair is free that day for any current military service member or any veteran with proof of service.

This should be a great event, as service dogs who assist veterans and dogs that have served during war times will also be in attendance at the unveiling.

The State Fair has a great website with lots of information available for those who plan to come.

There are many entertainers who will perform for free as well.

For a complete list of special events, visit

To view full schedules or to plan your fair visit, visit

Senior citizens are offered free admission on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

There are many opportunities for bus rides provided by Centro from local communities to the fairgrounds for anyone who does not have their own transportation or who does not wish to drive.

To find bus information, visit

You may also call (315) 487-7711.

I hope you’re able to visit the fair this year, and take part in one of our area’s best and brightest attractions.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office.

My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.

You can also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.