Officials with the New York State Fair continue to announce new events and attractions, as the end-of-summer event looks to reverse a trend of dropping attendance.
Fair officials today announced a first for this year’s exposition -- a running event called the Bubble Blast 5K Run that will be a fundraiser for ACR Health and Operation Walk. It’s the latest of a series of initiatives meant to get more people to come to the fair. Acting fair director Troy Waffner admits there is a feeling of urgency this year to boost attendance.
"The mandate from the governor’s office is clear. Attendance better be up. I can’t control the weather. But if you give me the weather we had last year, I think attendance can be up by 50,000, because of all the new things were doing, the new midway operators, the changes we’re making,” said Waffner.
Waffner says the race is just one among other new attractions
"All built around kind of drawing people to the fair who might not come because they think it’s the same old thing. We’re going to show them it’s not the same old thing. The funs back at the fair. We want the old favorites, we want the new fun and we want to build tomorrow’s traditions. That’s how we’re going to do it this year.”
The fair is in the midst of a major makeover, with the state looking to hire a new director who can implement a more long term vision for the fair as a year round destination for tourism, entertainment and business interests.
This new strategy coincides with the state’s recent investment in a Lakehouse Concert Pavilion and Performing Arts Center in Geddes next to the fairgrounds.