Governor Kathy Hochul today opened the 2023 Great New York State Fair, joining state and local officials for a ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the 13-day run of the country’s oldest state fair. The Governor also cut the ribbon on Asian Village, the newest cultural Village at The Fair. The Governor and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, which oversees the Great New York State Fair, have made it a priority to ensure The Fair is a welcoming place for all New Yorkers and all visitors. Asian Village joins Latino Village, Pan African Village, and Indian Village to provide fairgoers with opportunities to experience, enjoy, and learn about the many backgrounds and cultures of New Yorkers.
“The Great New York State Fair is an incredible opportunity to celebrate our farmers, products, culture, and diversity,” Governor Hochul said. “New York’s farmers and agricultural industry are essential to our identity, and I encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to make the trip to this wonderful tradition and celebrate the Empire State’s bountiful treasures.”
Located in near Gate 4 on the Fairgrounds, Asian Village recognizes the contributions, history, and experiences of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities through music, dance, food, and a number of other special events. Asian Village continues through Saturday, August 26 at 10 p.m.
During the Governor’s visit, she also toured streetscape improvements made to Restaurant Row, a new 2,500 square foot Goat Pavilion – which is solar powered and offers an open-air space for goat shows – and a new 1,600 square foot concession stand, adding to The Fair’s array of permanent structures. These improvements are a part of $34.7 million in investments that the Governor announced for The Fair during her visit last year. A Greenhouse and Horticultural Education Center, a new Sheep Barn and Wool Center, and new Horse Stables are also in the works, projected to be complete by the 2025 Great New York State Fair. These improvements build on more than $125 million in renovations and new construction since 2015.
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “It’s always great to be back at our Great New York State Fair, celebrating this beloved New York tradition that spotlights the very best that our state has to offer. From delicious food and fantastic music to exciting agricultural exhibits that highlight the hard work of our agricultural communities, the Great New York State Fair offers something special for every type of visitor. I am grateful to all of our partners who come together, year after year, to put on a Fair that truly showcases all there is to love about New York State.”
New York State Fair Director Sean Hennessey said, “This year, the Great New York State Fair has so many exciting new offerings for fairgoers – from increased accessibility measures to expanded cultural exhibits – to help more New Yorkers make new and beloved memories on our Fairgrounds. I look forward to sharing these new initiatives, and celebrating time-honored traditions, with fairgoers for another great year at the Fair!”
In addition, the Governor also visited The Youth Building, which recently gained a new addition of an accessible ramp, providing convenient stage access to those who use wheelchairs. The Youth Building is the home of 4-H Shows and Competitions during The Fair. The Governor participated in Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program throughout her childhood, and is the first sitting governor to be honored with the 4-H Distinguished Alumni Medallion, an honor bestowed upon her last year.
The ramp is one of two accessibility improvements that The Fair’s administrative team prioritized this year. In addition, The Fair also paved a gravel area in Suburban Park, to allow for accessible seating. In prior years, accessible seating in Suburban Park was provided in a platform style; however, those who use wheelchairs had to sit further from the stage.
As citizens/neighbors plan their visit(s) to the 2023 Great New York State Fair, The Fair provides a variety of accommodations for those living with disabilities. Accommodations are outlined in an Accessibility Services Map, provided on The Fair’s website as well as on digital kiosks placed throughout The Fairgrounds during The Fair.
As part of her commitment to strengthening New York’s county and local fairs, including cross-promotion with the Great New York State Fair, the Governor announced the launch of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a $1 million marketing and advertising campaign to promote local fairs. The state has more than 50 county and local fairs, which help the state showcase agricultural products, practices, history, and traditions. The marketing and advertising campaign will be designed to boost attendance at the state’s county and local fairs, as well as educate communities about the ways that fairs help to support local economies and agriculture. Proposals are due by October 18, 2023. More information can be found here.
State Senator John W. Mannion said, “Opening day at The Fair is a cherished tradition as we celebrate New York State, make new memories, and enjoy all of our old favorites. The fair is an economic driver for Central New York and it’s a special privilege and responsibility to represent the fairgrounds. Since taking office, I’ve supported tens of millions of dollars in capital investments and new amenities for fairgoers. As Chairman of the Disabilities Committee, I am especially proud of the new accessibility upgrades that will help all New Yorkers attend and fully enjoy the fair. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her leadership and commitment to Central New York.”
State Senator Rachel May said, “The Great New York State Fair is one of my favorite annual traditions here in Central New York. It’s a time to show off all of the wonderful sights, sounds, culture, and food New York has to offer. This year is especially exciting because of several highly anticipated additions to the fairgrounds, including the new Asian Village and a state-of-the-art goat barn. These improvements ensure the diversity and vitality of the fair well into the future, and it couldn’t have been done without Governor Hochul’s leadership and her commitment to keeping the Great New York State Fair the best fair in the country.”
State Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “The Great New York State Fair is a celebration of New York agriculture and rural tradition that we’ve cherished for generations, and this year it returns triumphantly with new exhibits and opportunities for families to make great memories on the Fairgrounds! Fairgoers can experience the pride of our rural communities, from the incredible 4-H shows and competitions to livestock exhibitors and our small business vendors. Thank you to Governor Hochul, Ag & Markets, and all partners who make the fair an unforgettable experience for all.”
Assemblymember William Magnarelli said, “Located proudly in the 129th Assembly District, I want to once again welcome everyone to the Great New York State Fair. I look forward to seeing all the new attractions and exhibits for 2023. This summer tradition offers a chance for visitors from all over the country to experience all that New York State has to offer from food and entertainment to highlighting New York agriculture and small businesses.”
Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter said, “I’m pleased to welcome the return of the Great New York State Fair to Central New York! This year brings new and exciting experiences for fairgoers, including the Asian Village and a dinosaur exhibit, along with improvements to existing facilities and attractions that aim to enhance the experience for all New Yorkers. I look forward to seeing families from all across our region enjoying the unique experiences that only the Fair can provide!”
Assemblymember Albert A. Stirpe, Jr. said, “The wait is over. The Great NY State Fair is open! For the next 13 days local families and tourists alike will enjoy games, rides, delicious and diverse foods and world class musical entertainment. It’s a perfect way to cap off the summer. See you at the Fair!”
Assemblymember Donna Lupardo said, “As always, I’m looking forward to enjoying the Great New York State Fair. The Fair provides a wonderful opportunity to see and enjoy so much of what our state has to offer. I am especially looking forward to the new exhibits and improvements that have been made to the Fair this year. As Ag Chair, I will be heading right over to see the new Voice of the Farmer Exhibit and the Goat Pavilion. Thank you to all who work year-round on this great event.”
Onondaga County Executive McMahon said, “Onondaga County is proud to be the home of the Great New York State Fair and welcome the thousands upon thousands of visitors from across the state and country to our community. Every year the Fair offers something new and exciting, and this year is no different.” McMahon continued, “I look forward to another successful Fair that highlights the many contributions Onondaga County and Central New York offer and I encourage everyone to come visit the 2023 Great New York State Fair!”
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, “The Great New York State Fair is synonymous with Syracuse and is an economic driver for the city and our region. I’ll be at the Fairgrounds multiple times in the days ahead, and I encourage people from across Central New York, the state and the nation to visit before the Fair ends. With Governor Hochul’s support, the facilities and attractions just keep getting better. Let’s make the 2023 State Fair the best one yet!”
The Great New York State Fair continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 3.
August 28 2023