Links to your favorite entertainment venues included!
The 2016 New York State Fair started with a bang, as people who’ve attended the annual 12 day event tried to find their way around what is a new Fair layout. Greeted by Romanesque columns, the main gate is impressive with its design and special LED lighting.
Immediately you’ll notice wider pathways along the Midway. Well-lit areas to sit and eat are plentiful throughout the facility. But first, you have to find your way around. The Wade Shows have created an amusement park feel, with lights that blink, twinkle and flow in syncopation.
The children’s ride area is a wonderland for smaller children as they have their own space tailored to these young fairgoers. Smaller versions of the larger rides, where parents and families can sit, eat relax and regroup as they traverse the play land.
The rides are an upgrade from the James E. Strates Shows who held the contract for decades. Unfortunately, over the years their rides and games had become dated. After a public bid process, Wade Shows were chosen to provide rides and other features for the New York State Fair Midway. Wade Shows participation has been transformational, since many new, exciting and entertaining rides were brought in.
An emphasis on New York produced goods and services are evident. If re-branding was the idea of Governor Cuomo, then he’s accomplished it, this is not your father’s state fair. Food and wine and NY crafted cocktails are in the many sit down restaurants. The old Empire Room, once a hidden gem of the fair is now a functioning Bistro with a complete menu and room to seat many comfortably.
For those who’ve gone to the fair so many times the map is seared into your internal GPS get rid of it. A tight functional layout provides for ease of egress by everyone. Gone are the miles of cables and wires that were once part of the midway game, watch where you walk.
The food stands that were once landmarks have been moved. Therefore, it’s going to take time to find many of your favorites.
The “campus” of the fairgrounds has remained the same being part of the structural institution for over 100 years.
Most people don’t realize the prime purpose of the New York State Fair is agriculture. The way we display agriculture has been referred to as, “the Berkshire model” that provides the venue for determining an areas agricultural quality. New York State is a large contributor the nation’s food basket, as we are an agricultural state, leading the nation in producing, dairy, apples, vegetables, even grapes for world-class wines.
The state is constructing, state-of-the-art equestrian facilities in addition to redefining areas yet to be announced. The animals are more important than the rides and cotton candy, as farmers show results of their hard work. In prestigious competitions, Judge the best in everything, the fair is an opportunity to showcase the rich agriculture of the state.
It’s clear that this Fairgrounds makeover is a work in progress since some spaces are incomplete and fenced off, perhaps for future development. This is a beginning, there will be even more improvements by this time next year.
For information regarding your favorite entertainment venues click on the link(s) below
- Chevy Court
- Regional Artist Variety Stage
- Empire Theater
- Pan-African Village
- NYS Grange Stage
- Dairyland Stage