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    The Great New York State Fair, Syracuse

The Great New York State Fair

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It may be the glittering lights, the coasters or the promise of new memories that attracts thousands to the State Fair. Whatever your reason, there's a lot of fun in store. What started as a nod to the agricultural community in the 1800s has evolved into a colorful 12-day celebration of New York's outstanding food, entertainment and technology. So whether you're here for a cultural awakening or just to eat some fried Oreos, the Great New York State Fair will take you on a journey. Buy your tickets now!

Jump to: 3 things you can't miss | Day-by-day guideWhere to stay | Getting there 

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3 Things you can't miss   

Butter Sculpture - NYS FairButter sculpture - Carved from hundreds of pounds of butter, this sculpture has been a fair must-see for years. Visit the Dairy Products Building to see hundreds of pounds of butter turned into art.

NYS Fair sand sculpture of fair logoSand sculpture - The amazing sand sculpture will return for a eighth year at the center of the Center of Progress Building. This year you can watch 180 tons of sand (that's 360,000 pounds) sculpted into a work of art by the people from Team Sandtastic!

Taste NY events & samples - Farm-to-fork cuisine is at the heart of Taste NY where free samples of food and beverage products are available daily in the Horticulture Building. Meet the people behind the products and learn from the experts with daily cooking demos presented by Taste NY and Wegmans Food Market. Find the full cooking schedule and event list here

Day-by-day guide

NYS Fair - Photo Courtesy of The Great New York State FairDay 1 - Wednesday 8/23: Preview Day
A whole new day is added to the Fair this year--Preview Day gives you a sneak peak at rides, food and special events, all for $1 admission. Make sure you catch musical performances by Robert Randolph and The Family Band and 3 Doors Down. 
 
Day 2 - Thursday 8/24: $3 Thursdays | Governor's Day
All day admission for only $3, that's a pretty sweet deal, right? Thanks to the fair's Three Dollar Thursday special, you'll enjoy attractions and live musicians without breaking your wallet! In the evening, rock out to a live performance by Chevelle at 8pm.
 
Day 3 - Friday 8/25: Pride DayPride Day - NYS Fair - Photo Courtesy of The Great NYS Fair 
New Yorkers have a lot to be proud of. The only State Fair in the United States to host its own Pride Day, Friday is filled with annual, all-day events including the flag raising ceremony, LGBT choirs and parade. Jam out to live performances by The Fabulous Thunderbirds in the afternoon and experience rock ‘n’ roll legends in the evening when The Beach Boys take the stage. 
 
Canadian Lynx KodiacDay 4 - Saturday 8/26
With a seemingly endless list of activities and attractions, you could walk the fairgrounds for days without exhausting your to-do list. Use this weekend to explore all of the State Fair and be sure to catch some must-see attractions from Sand Sculpture to the Wildcat exhibit.
 
Day 5 - Sunday 8/27: B.A.S.S. Nation “I FISH NY” Tournament
Bring to the whole family to Onondaga Lake for the B.A.S.S. Nation “I FISH NY” Tournament & State Fair Kids’ Fishing Experience where “buddy” teams across the state--from the Thousand Islands to Long Island--will compete for prizes, trophies and the championship title for their region! The fishing tournament starts at 7 am followed by the Kids Casting Demonstration from 10 am to noon. Later, follow your nose to the Taste NY pavilion where samples and tasty treats are waiting to be discovered. At night, Earth, Wind & Fire will bring their soulful R&B to the Chevy Court stage. 
 
Day 6 - Monday 8/28: Law Enforcement Day | Senior Citizen's Day | Midway MondayNYS Fair - Photo Courtesy of The Great New York State Fair
This day is all about the deals and celebrations. In honor those in public service, Law Enforcement Day allows free admission to active and retired law enforcement personnel. Plus, any visitor age sixty and up will enjoy free admission with an ID that shows your birth date. And to top it all off, this day is Midway Monday where a special wristband gets you 10 rides for only $10! Use it to check out the new Skyride (a ski lift-style ride that travels 1400 feet across the Midway)! So enjoy the rides and when you’re ready, head to Chevy Court for Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone at 2pm and a live performance by Kansas at 8pm.
 
Woman Feeding Cow - Photo by the Great NYS FairDay 7 - Tuesday 8/29: Beef Day | Fire & Rescue Day | Senior Citizen’s Day
Let the sizzling grill and mouth-watering smell of juicy burgers guide you to the Chevy Court pavilion, where Beef Day is in full swing. Celebrating New York's beef industry and farmers, the annual grill-off will have local media personalities compete for the title of "Branding Iron Chef," followed by the always-tasty "Perfect Burger" competition. In honor of active and retired fire department members, this day will allow free admission with a valid department ID and commemorate those involved with a special ceremony in front of the Horticulture Building at 11am. In addition, those age sixty and up will enjoy free admission to the Fair. So come for the events, the food and of course the live performance by The Marshall Tucker Band at Chevy Court. 
 
Day 8 - Wednesday 8/30: Women’s DayNYS Fair
Visit the new Women’s Rights exhibit, celebrating women and the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in New York State, its the perfect way to enjoy this special day. See the full schedule here, make sure you register for the Women’s Day Luncheon and check out special events throughout the day like the Fine Arts and Photo Exhibition as well as a mini-fair at Chevy Court where women’s advocacy groups will be featured from 10am to 4pm. At 2pm, legendary singer-songwriter Taylor Dayne will take to the stage with signature hits like “Tell It to My Heart,” and more of her top-chart discography. 
 
Butter Sculpture - NYS FairDay 9 - Thursday 8/31: Armed Forces Day | Diary Day | $3 Thursday
Chocolate milk and thick shakes are, to any dairy-lover, the crème de la crème of beverages. And as the state's official drink, "Milk" is center stage on Dairy Day. Delicious events include the celebrity milkshake contest and iconic exhibits like the butter sculpture. But whether you’re a milk lover or not, this day is full of deals including $3 Thursday admission as well as free admission for active duty or military veteran personnel with a valid ID. Join the community in honoring our armed forces with ceremonies at the Veterans Memorial at 11am and the Special Day Parade at 6pm. And make sure you see LeAnn Rimes perform live at Chevy Court at 8pm.
 
Day 10 - Friday 9/1: Six Nations Day | Student’s DayNYS Fair kid and dog participate in mutts gone wild
In addition to a Special Day Parade in honor of Six Nations Day, all Native Americans will receive free admission to the fair. ID is not required, but the fair kindly asks that attendees enter through Gate 4 on this day. Plus, students age 18 and under receive free admission, an ID with date of birth may be requested at the gate. 
 
Day 11 - Saturday 9/2: Grange Day
Support the achievements of the New York State Grange which organizes, supports and advocates for rural communities and agriculture. Special events will run throughout the day and on top of that, Saturday kicks off the two day Taste NY Food Truck Competition held all weekend from 10am to 7pm. What better way to celebrate food than treating yourself to $3 samples from over 20 New York food trucks, right? 
 
Food truckDay 12 - Sunday 9/3
Tasty BBQ, grilled PB&J and specialty treats--if you haven't experienced the Taste NY Food Truck Competition, do your taste buds a favor and go this year. Sunday marks the second day of the annual event where over 20 food trucks will bring snacks, samples and more to the State Fair. Dance off those tasty treats with live a music by the Spin Doctors at Chevy Court. 
 
Day 13 - Monday 9/4: Labor Day | Summer Send Off “Dollar Day”
Happy Labor Day! The Summer Send Off "Dollar Day" makes the holiday that much sweeter with $1 adult admission all day. If you haven't had your dose of adrenaline, head to Wade Shows Midway jump on any ride for just $1. And if you're looking for bursts of color and music that night, you've come to the right place, the closing firework show and live musical performances will be the perfect send off to summer. 

Where to stay

Hotels, inns, luxury retreats or the comfort of your own RV, Syracuse and the surrounding Finger Lake region have what you need for a comfortable, convenient stay at the State Fair. 

Hotels
Check out the several hotels near the Fair that provide a comfortable, close place to stay. Check for availability and book now--rooms fill up fast!

Daily RV Camping
Plan your camping trip for the Great New York State Fair! Conveniently located onsite in the Fair's Pink Lot  the Fair has approximately 70 spaces (20' x 40') available for daily RV camping for 14 days (Tuesday, Aug. 22 - Monday, Sept. 4) on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $25.00 per day, which covers your RV parking site and one vehicle parking permit. This fee does not include admission to the Fair. Find more information on RV camping here

Getting there

By car 
• From NYC: 4 hours
• From Albany: 3.5 hour
• From Buffalo: 2.5 hours
• From Boston: 3.5 hours
• From Philadelphia: 4 hours
• From Montreal: 4.5 hours

By train
Amtrak stops right in Syracuse - get your tickets here! Get your Amtrak tickets and free kids ticket here.

By bus 
Trailways to Adirondack Trailways Bus Stop or Greyhound to Syracuse Regional Transit Center.

By plane  
Syracuse International Airport, 1000 Col Eileen Collins Blvd, Syracuse, NY 13212