The New York State Fair opens for 'Preview Day'

Aug 23, 2017

The 2017 edition of the New York State Fair opens Wednesday near Syracuse. The fair has typically opened on a Thursday, but it's opening a day early this year, with officials calling it "Preview Day."

While many animals may not be on display and some ground entertainers will be on reduced schedules, the rides, exhibits and vendors will all be open.

Admission to the fair is $1 today. All of the rides are ready to go and will cost $1 from 10 a.m. until noon, according to Wade Show owner Frank Zaitschik. He says interest in roller coasters and Ferris wheels continues despite the death of a fairgoer in Ohio earlier this summer following a ride malfunction.

"We played the Delaware State Fair, we played the Ozark Empire Fair, the Missouri State Fair, a couple of city celebrations in the metropolitan Detroit area, and I’m really pleased to report that revenue has been up in every one of those locations," Zaitschik said. 

Zaitschik says safety is paramount for ride operators like him. He notes there are several safety checks on all the rides at the State Fair. That includes the Broadway Skyliner, new this year, that is a chairlift that takes people from one end of the midway to the other. He expects it to become one of the signature events at the fair.

"You have certain foods, certain things people always do," he said. "This is going to be one of those certain things everybody does.”

Police Exhibit 

The New York State Police a will have a new exhibit at this year’s State Fair in Syracuse to celebrate their 100th anniversary. The Troopers have moved into two buildings and installed towers for rappelling demonstrations. Trooper Jack Keller says in an era where police community relations have been strained at times, it’s good to be able to interact with New Yorkers.

"A lot of times the public only sees us at the negative times. or in a car," Keller said. "They don’t have the opportunity to walk up and speak with a trooper.”

Keller says hundreds of troopers from across the state are chosen for fair duty. He notes that many people don’t know the first assignment for state police was at the State Fair in 1917. At that time, many troopers were on horseback and performed tricks on horses in the old grandstand for entertainment.