Great New York State Fair offers Summer’s Best in Show

NY State Fair


State4This year, the theme of the New York State Fair says it all: Summer’s Best in Show.

It is clear from the entertainment, food, and vendor lineup that this year’s fair is set to be one of the greatest in years. The fair recently was named one of America’s top state fairs by Yahoo! Travel, and ranked the fair as the No. 1 State Fair in the United States.

“The Fair has a lot of excitement this year with new exhibits, great concerts featuring international superstars, and a huge focus on New York agriculture,” said Acting State Fair Director Troy Waffner.  “Momentum is clearly on our side and as evidenced by these recent reports, people are taking notice.”

Waffner promises that this year’s State Fair will be one to remember. The Fair opens on Thursday, Aug. 21, and runs through Monday, Sept. 1.


Every year, the State Fair plays host to between 9,000 and 10,000 animals entering a range of competitions over the 12 days. These include more than 3,000 horses, 1,000 dairy and beef cattle, and hundreds of sheep, goats, rabbits, and swine.  Tours can be arranged in the Dairy Barn upon request so that Fairgoers can learn about the animals firsthand from farmers.


This year’s entertainment lineup will offer an exciting mix of talent on every stage. The Grandstand Concert Series will kick off with country powerhouse Brad Paisley with Randy Houser, Charlie Worsham, and Leah Turner on Thursday, Aug. 21. Rapper Pitbull will take the stage on Saturday, Aug. 23; and Train and the Wallflowers will rock out on Tuesday, Aug. 26. The rest of the acts round out an eclectic mix, including Carrie Underwood, Journey, Cheap Trick, Jason Alean and Tyler Farr. Ticket prices vary, and are available online at, by phone at 800-514-3849, or in person at the box office.



The Chevy Court Concert Series offers 12 days of free entertainment for the New York State Fair. Two shows a day will be featured, all free to Fairgoers with Fair admission. The lineup provides a wide-ranging mix of musical talent from country to nostalgia to today’s popular music, including Kellie Pickler, Herman’s Hermits, John Kay and Steppenwolf, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Ashanti.

The Midway Music Series, Regional Artists Stage, and Pan-African Village stages also host a number of musical and variety acts throughout the fair. Two couples who have appeared on the TV shows “Big Brother” and “The Amazing Race” – Rachel Reilly and Brendon Villegas, and Jordan Lloyd and Jeff Schroeder – will tell their stories of finding love amidst cutthroat competition on the Midway Music Series Stage at the Great New York State Fair at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31.

What’s new at the Fair

There are plenty of new cool things to see at the New York State Fair, and that doesn’t even include the Butter Scuplture!

Yogurt Bar: In addition to the ubiquitous butter sculpture, the fair will host its first-ever yogurt bar, called YO2GO, which will offer regular vanilla and Greek yogurt, made with 100 percent New York milk. A number of different toppings will be available for consumers to add to the yogurt at the point of purchase, including black cherry, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, peach, mango, carrots, celery, granola and dark chocolate bits.

Discover the Dinosaurs ($5 admission): More than 40 moving and museum-quality static dinosaurs will give fairgoers a chance to touch the past with this exciting new exhibit. Fairgoers can pose with and touch some of the static dinosaurs. There’s a Triceratops for smaller guests to ride and a Tyrannosaurus Rex for larger guests. They move gently and roar. Kids can dig for dinosaur fossils as well. More information about the exhibit can be found at

Fair2Midway Additions: Fans of amusement rides should prepare for an exciting time at the Fair. Wade Shows will bring at least 63 rides to the Fair, including five exciting rides, called “super-spectacular” rides:

  • The RC-48 roller coaster, which will be the largest roller coaster ever to appear at the Fair. Wade Shows owns the two largest traveling coasters in America and the RC-48 is one of them.
  • The Crazy Mouse roller coaster, which adds a spinning seat to the thrills of going up and down the coaster rails.
  • The Enterprise, a spinning, tilting kind of Ferris wheel that falls into the super-spectacular category.
  • Mega Drop, the world’s largest portable drop tower.
  • Two Kiddielands, one of which will include Wade’s newest ride for younger thrill seekers, Charlie Copter.

As a special get-acquainted event to mark the new Midway, Wade Shows will offer free rides from 10 – 11:30 a.m. on opening day, Aug. 21.



New York State Fair, The best food, music, rides, games, exhibits, animals, agriculture and so much more of all the things that make New York State special.


Thursday, Aug. 21 – Monday, Sept. 1; gates open at 8 a.m. daily; exhibit buildings, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., with the exception of Labor Day when they close at 9 p.m. The Midway is open until midnight every night except on Labor Day, when it closes at 10 p.m.


Daily admission tickets are $10, except for Labor Day, when it will be $1; children are admitted free every day of the fair; students 16 and younger are admitted free on Friday, Aug. 29; Senior Citizens’ Days are Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 25 and 26, when all age 60 and older are admitted free; free admission to the fair is included with the advance purchase of every concert ticket.


On the Web:
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Bacon Brothers

The Bacon Brothers

Chevy Court:

All Chevy Court concerts are free with your fair admission!

Kellie Pickler: 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 21
Barenaked Ladies: 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 21
Smash Mouth: 2 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22
Jason Derulo: 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22
Sean Kingston: 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23
The Bacon Brothers: 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23
Ashanti: 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 24
Young The Giant: 8 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 24
Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone: 2 p.m., Monday, Aug. 25
John Kay and Steppenwolf: 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 25
Bowzer’s Rock & Roll Party: 2 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 26
Night Ranger: 8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 26
Chef Anne Burrell: 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27
Angie Johnson: 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28
The Eli Young Band: 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28
The Neighbourhood: 2 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29
Uncle Kracker: 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30
Bell Biv Devoe: 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30
MKTO: 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 31
Phillip Phillips: 8 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 31
The Doobie Brothers: 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 1, followed by fireworks at dusk


Ticket prices vary. Visit for details.

Brad Paisley with Randy Houser, Leah Turner & Charlie Worsham: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21
Uproar Rockstar Energy Drink Festival: 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22
Pitbull: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23
Kid Rock with Big Smo: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25
Train and the Wallflowers: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26
Carrie Underwood: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug 27
Journey with Cheap Trick: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28
Jason Aldean with Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30
All Star Monster Truck Tour: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31
NYS Championship Demolition Derby: 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1


Shawn “Big Sexy” Smith

Midway Music Series

From teen pop to electronic dance music to tribute bands, the musical performances on the Midway Music Series stage at the Great New York State Fair hold a little something for everyone.

The performances are:

Big Eyed Phish (Dave Matthews Band tribute): 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25.
Ashley Allen, with The Goonies (pop): 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26
Dark Hollow (Grateful Dead tribute): 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27
Cash Cash (electronic dance): 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28
Action Item (pop rock): 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29
Megan & Liz with Heyday (pop duo): 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30.

Performances announced for the Midway Music Series stage so far include:
Contestants from “The Voice,” the NBC musical competition, including Shawn “Big Sexy” Smith of Oneida County, at 7:30 on Thursday, August 21
Country music legend John Anderson, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 22.
Couples who have competed on the CBS reality competition “The Amazing Race,” at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 31

Jen Rotundo Fanelli
– The Fuze Magazine

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