Fair's Newest Addition Recognizes Contributions, History and Experiences of Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Cultures
Asian Village joins Indian Village, Pan African Village and Latino Village as Fairgrounds Destinations to Celebrate and Experience the Diverse Cultures of New Yorkers
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the addition of Asian Village to the Great New York State Fair. Asian Village — which will run from Opening Day on Wednesday, August 23, through the first Saturday, August 26 — will recognize 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 joins Indian Village, Pan African Village, and Latino Village in providing opportunities for fairgoers to experience the many backgrounds and cultures that make New Yorkers diverse and unique.
"New York's diversity is what makes our state so great, and Asian Village at the Great New York State Fair will help to ensure all of our state's cultures are celebrated and represented," Governor Hochul said. "By creating a space that embraces Asian heritage, we will make our State Fair more welcoming to all cultures while also educating New Yorkers on Asian traditions."
Asian Village will include some traditional Asian cuisines to sample. Entertainment offerings include singing, drumming and Lion Dance — a traditional dance performed at celebrations, business openings, and festivals with performers working together in a stylized lion costume. The Lion Dance is a symbol of good luck and an integral part of Lunar New Year celebrations. Plans also call for a Fashion Show where models and attire representing 20 different nations will be showcased, along with an area to be dedicated to Ssireum (Hangul: ), also known as Korean Wrestling.
Fairgoers will find the Asian Village closest to the Gate 4 entrance, not far from the Youth Building. On the first day of The Fair, Asian Village will run from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. On Tuesday, August 24 through Saturday, August 26, Asian Village will start at 2:00 p.m. and continue into the evening. A complete schedule of events will be announced in the coming weeks.
Richard A. Ball, Commissioner of New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets said, "As much as The Fair is a celebration of New York agriculture, food, and entertainment, at its core, it's a celebration of all people. It is a priority for the Department of Agriculture and Markets to make sure that The Fair is a welcoming place for all visitors, and a place where we can celebrate our unique heritage and cultural backgrounds. I couldn't be more excited for Asian Village to join Pan African Village, Latino Village, and Indian Village as destinations within The Fairgrounds."
Interim New York State Fair Director Sean Hennessey said, "We are excited about this opportunity to create a place that comes to life with smells, flavors and experiences to celebrate the Asian culture. It's important that everyone feels like there's a place for them at the Great New York State Fair and adding Asian Village is a great way for us to continue to enhance our celebration of all New Yorkers. It's our hope that regardless of their background, when people come here - whether they come to learn about the history of New York State, watch a concert, or eat their way through delicious foods and drinks - that they'll also walk away learning more about their neighbors in other communities."
State Senator John W. Mannion said, "The New York State Fair has always been a celebration of our state and I'm thrilled that fairgoers will now get to experience Asian culture, customs, and traditions at the new Asian Village. I know my friend and fellow Central New Yorker Tai Shaw will make the Asian Village a welcoming, educational, and must-see attraction at this year's State Fair."
Assemblymember William Magnarelli said, "An Asian Village at the New York State Fair is a wonderful way of showcasing Asian Cultures. Fair visitors will have a further opportunity to celebrate the diversity within the great state of New York, learning about the various cultures of our Asian population."
Tai Shaw, Superintendent of Asian Village said, "I've always believed that diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard. Our hope is that when Fair visitors who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander come through Asian Village, it will feel like they hopped on a plane and immersed themselves into Southeast Asia. And, that when visitors see any activity, or witness special moments in Asian Village, that they feel welcome and included. I'm so grateful to be a part of this year's Fair, and I'm excited for everyone - especially members of the AAPI community and New Americans - to experience the positive energy and atmosphere of Asian Village."
Prachee Samant, Director of Outreach for the Council of Heritage and Arts of India said, "The Great New York State Fair has been an integral part of New York State's culture and history for many years, but it is indeed a true retreat for any Asian to learn that Asian Village has been included to this year's State Fair. This will definitely give a true essence of the rich culture, history and experiences of Asian Americans across the state. We are pleased and thankful to Governor Hochul for including Asian Village into the State Fair this year."
The Fair's announcement comes during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, which commemorates the migration of the first immigrants from Japan to the United States on May 7, 1843 and celebrates the completion of the transcontinental railroad by over 20,0000 Asian immigrants on May 10, 1869.
Asian Village joins Indian Village, Pan African Village and Latino Village, providing fairgoers with opportunities to experience and enjoy a number of the many backgrounds and cultures of New Yorkers.
Indian Village, established in 1928, will soon celebrate its 100th year at the Great New York State Fair. For generations, the Village, positioned at Gate 4 behind the Youth Building, has been dedicated to Six Nations programming. Those of Native American descent, friends, and visitors come here to immerse themselves in the culture and heritage of the original New Yorkers. The Turtle Mound—built to resemble a turtle, an animal that is sacred to the Iroquois—serves as a stage for daily dances. Fairgoers may also walk through longhouses to go back in time to see how the Iroquois lived long ago. Indian Village runs all 13 days of The Fair.
Pan African Village, established in 1996, has grown tremendously in its 27 years. Positioned closest to Gate 11A—in between the Center of Progress Building and the Art and Home Center—Pan African Village is a traditional Fair stop for many visitors. It is the place to go to participate in drum circles, shop for handmade crafts, feast on delicious African and Caribbean meals, and listen to live music. In 2018, Pan African Village was renamed to honor and recognize former Syracuse Common Council President Van Robinson, whose life mission is community activism and service. Pan African Village runs all 13 days of The Fair.
Latino Village, established in 2018, will be back for its fifth year at the Fair this year. The vibrant area was established by Elisa Morales, Superintendent of the Village and Executive Director of La Liga, the Spanish Action League of Onondaga County to provide a sense of place for people with Latin roots and inspire people who may come from non-Latino backgrounds to experience special parts of the Latin community. In Latino Village, fairgoers will taste authentic dishes, browse Latin-infused creations, and of course, listen and dance to regional and national recording artists playing through a variety of Latin music styles. One of the most vibrant elements of Latino Village is its Drag Show, which promotes diversity beyond race and ethnicity. Latino Village returns to the Fair on Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4. Fairgoers will find it in the same place as Asian Village, closest to the Gate 4 entrance, near the Youth Building.
The Great New York State Fair opens Wednesday, August 23 and continues through Labor Day, September 4. Admission, which is expected to go on sale online in just a few weeks, is $6 for adults, and free for those who are 12 years old and younger, and 65 years old and older.
Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of the state's CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. It is consistently recognized as one of the top five state fairs in the United States.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Audiences are encouraged to learn more about the Great New York State Fair online, and follow the fun through photos on Flickr, as well as by engaging with the Fair on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.