New York State Fair

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

By goldfish standards, a massive rescue mission was carried out once the midway lights went dark on the 2013 run of the New York State Fair.

Well after midnight, Janice Wilson and others rounded up a few hundred of the goldfish that hadn’t been won over the previous two weeks.

"Transporting was very difficult," she said. "Even getting containers that we could travel in because they are very sensitive to motion and a lot of them we knew would not even make the transfer."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The 2014 edition of the New York State Fair is in the books – and in the record books.

Attendance at this year’s fair beat the previous run. Including two all-time single day records set on the final weekend. That’s a good bounce back after a 20-year low in 2012.

This year saw also a new midway company for the first time in six decades and the first ever “Dollar Day” to mark the end of the fair on Labor Day.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A steady stream of patients visit the infirmary at the New York State Fair each day. Though most people have minor maladies, one fairgoer did have a heart attack early in the fair's run and is recovering. Upstate Medical University Hospital ER Physician Erin Wirths isn’t surprised. She says the fairgrounds has all the pieces in place to deal with an emergency situation. For the most part the infirmary handles small things, and sometimes fairgoers who need a few minutes to rest up.

Operation WALK Syracuse

For the first time ever at the New York State Fair, there will be a running event at the fairgrounds. The Bubble Blast 5K run will take place Sunday.

One of the beneficiaries of the fundraiser is a group of central New York medical professionals who take their skills to third-world countries.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

As New York state continues to boost the craft brewery and distillery business, brews and spirits pushed into the wine court at the New York State Fair.

David Tadros has been collecting brews and spirits from Clayton to Brooklyn to sell at his stand on the edge of the wine court. State Fair Showstopper Ale, a brew concocted only for the run of the fair, by Empire Brewery, is sold here, along with other New York state beers. And for the first time distilled spirits are available outside, opening them up to a bigger audience.

Those visiting the New York State Fair might stumble into some money, thanks to the state comptroller and the Office of Unclaimed Funds.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says there's about $13 billion in lost money throughout the state.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It’s a common procedure at the state fair: step right up and try to win a prize at one of the midway’s many carnival games.

Pop a balloon with a dart; sink a basketball shot; hook a ring around a bottle. Do so, and spend the rest of a day at the fair slinging an oversized plush gorilla over the shoulder, or carrying a stuffed monkey under an arm.

But one game, and an iconic fair prize, is missing this year.

via New York State Tax Department

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is back at the New York State Fair this year. They had a very positive experience last year signing homeowners up for the STAR tax credit.

This year, Department Commissioner Tom Mattox says they’re taking it one step further by providing private assistance to resolve tax issues on the spot.

“Yesterday alone, we worked with a couple dozen taxpayers to resolve issues in real time," Mattox said. "Everything from eligibility for certain veterans exemptions to certain sales tax collection related issues."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

While Gov. Andrew Cuomo says there has been no progress on a decision about hydrofracking in New York state, the movement opposing the controversial gas extracting technology gets louder. There are a couple of candidates in the upcoming election who want to tap into this anti-fracking fervor.

"We got the people power, la la la," yelled several protesters gathered at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. "We got the people power, la la la!"
 

Governor Andrew Cuomo / via Flickr

It was an opening day to remember for Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the New York State Fair.

Cuomo opened the fair this morning with a ribbon cutting at the dairy cattle building. Standing next to politicians, goats and cows, he declared the 2014 edition of the fair open.

“On three, don’t cheat, don’t cheat," Cuomo said to those surrounding him. "One, two, three."

The skies opened up shortly after Cuomo left the Dairy Building to make his way to Dinosaur Barbecue for the traditional sausage sandwich.

Courtesy of Wade Shows

Every year there are new attractions or cosmetic changes at the New York State Fair in Geddes. This year, when the fair gates open Thursday, visitors will see some of the most dramatic differences in decades.

It’s the biggest change at the fair in 73 years, says Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner. An all new midway, with long-time show operator James E. Strates out and Michigan-based Wade Shows in.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

There’s a lot of last minute work happening at the state fairgrounds in Geddes, but fair officials expect to have it finished in time for opening day of the New York State Fair in just over a week.

Workers are on the job at the Centro lot at the New York State Fairgrounds. The expansion of the drop-off and pick-up location for Centro buses is the big item workers are finishing up, says Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner.

NYSFair/flickr

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.

Search begins for new State Fair director

Oct 4, 2013
Stu Gallagher / New York State Fair

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets announced Wednesday it is searching for a new director for the New York State Fair. While in Syracuse Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters the new director should be someone who can move the fair forward.

"What's the next evolution of the fair, right? How does the fair continue to grow and develop, so we attract even more people? And if fair management is becoming more and more sophisticated and they're now multi-entertainment venues,  someone who brings that expertise I think would be great."

OCRRA

Vendors and displays are packed up, and the New York State Fair in Syracuse is over for another year. But one of the iconic sights of the fair will live on, giving a glimpse of what could be the next big recycling trend in New York state.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A new exhibit at the New York State Fair in Syracuse this year shows cows giving birth; and you just never know when you might be able to see a maternal miracle.

When the ribbon on the new Dairy Cow Birthing Center was cut, visitors were milling about, enjoying some dairy related snacks. Reporters were interviewing the experts who would explain why fairgoers should want to see the birth of a calf, when there was an interruption.

"We have a calf coming. Didn't mean to interrupt, but nature calls."

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Navigating through the Center of Progress Building at the New York State Fair is always a little difficult. But this year, it isn't the crowds at the cookware or candy booths that's creating roadblocks. Fairgoers are flocking to the New York State Taxation and Finance booth after getting letters last week explaining the need to register.

"We have a little bit of a line here. Can you wait?"

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) says she'll stand by the Obama administration as it considers military action against Syria in light of alleged chemical weapons use against civilians.

During a stop at the New York State Fair, Gillibrand said there's a humanitarian crisis in Syria that must be addressed by the United States and other countries, adding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must be put on notice that recent attacks against civilians are unacceptable to the world community.  

NYSFair/flickr

Among the improvements to the infrastructure of the New York State Fairgrounds this year, is an upgrade of the fair's surveillance system.  New high-tech cameras are replacing an older system that will keep an eye on anyone visiting the 375 acre fairgrounds.

Phase one of the installation involves laying down the infrastructure for the new cameras and installing them in certain areas, according to Assistant Fair Director Troy Waffner.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy filled in for Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the official opening of the New York State Fair in Syracuse today.  While Cuomo was hosting President Obama in Buffalo, Duffy was tasting New York state products in the new Taste New York Tent at the Fair.

Stu Gallagher / New York State Fair

The 2013 edition of the New York State Fair opens on Thursday, drawing hundreds of thousands of fairgoers to the Geddes fairgrounds during the 12-day exposition.  

In recent years, there has been more of a focus on agriculture at the State Fair, and State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine says there's more evidence of that at this year's event.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The story of Onondaga Lake, once called the most polluted lake in the nation, will be told in a major interactive exhibit at the New York State Fair this year.

"We no longer have to look at it and be embarrassed, or discuss what we are going to do. Now we can look back at where we have been and where we are going," said Onondaga County Deputy Executive Matt Millea.

Empire Theater

The New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse has been an institution in the area for years. But many people don't know about another landmark housed on the grounds – an authentic Wurlitzer organ.

Stu Gallagher / New York State Fair

The 2012 New York State Fair is over and in the books. The final day was a chance for some to hit the midway for the first time, and for others to squeeze in one last visit.

Garrett Ziegler / Flickr

Farms still drive New York state's economy, according to a report from the New York State Comptroller's office, which outlines just how important agriculture is to the state's economy.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

As Governor Andrew Cuomo opened the New York State Fair in Syracuse today, every step he took on the fairgrounds was dogged by protesters opposed to hydrofracking.