It’s all there at the Fair! With the start of the New York State Fair now just one week away, the Press Office continues to field a variety of questions each day. We have logged 35 of our most popular inquiries below, and have sorted them according to six topics:
- General Information & Admission Related Questions
- Parking, Transportation, Ride-Share & Accessibility
- What’s New and What’s Coming Back?
- Midway & Entertainment
- General Policy
General Information & Admission Related Questions:
Q: What are the hours of operation for The Fair?
The Great New York State Fair begins on Wednesday, August 23 and continues through Labor Day, September 4. The Fair’s hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, except for Labor Day, when The Fair closes at 9 p.m. Gates open to the public at 9 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. every day except for Labor Day, Monday, September 4, when no entry will be permitted after 8 p.m.
Q: What are the building hours at The Fair?
Buildings are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Exceptions, also noted in the Master 2023 State Fair Map, include:
- The Art & Homes Center, which closes at 8 p.m. daily
- The Daniel Witter Parish Agriculture Museum, which closes at 7 p.m. daily; and
- The Exposition Center, which closes at 9 p.m. daily
Q: How much is admission? How can I purchase admission tickets to The Fair?
- Admission to the Fair is $6, and free for those who are 65 years old and older, and free for children 12 years old and younger.
- New to The Fair this year, a Frequent Fairgoer pass is available for $20. This ticket is geared toward those who are planning to be at The Fair at least four or more days.
- There are three ways to purchase admission: In-advance online, in-advance over the phone, and in-person during the Fair at all gates through electronic kiosks.
- Online: The link to purchase tickets is live at this link: NYSFair.NY.Gov.
- Over the Phone: Tickets may also be purchased over the phone by calling Etix toll-free at 1-800-514-3849 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
- At the Gate: Kiosks positioned at all gates will be used for electronic ticket purchases. Large signs featuring QR codes will direct fairgoers to the Fair’s website to purchase tickets.
Q: If my age allows me to get into The Fair for free, do I need to show I.D. at the gate?
- Please be prepared to show identification at the gate. Children are permitted free entry on the honor system.
Q: Do I have to purchase tickets in advance? Can I purchase admission tickets at the entrance?
- Yes, tickets may be purchased at gates, but note, there are no cash sales at the Fair’s entrance gates or in parking lots.
Q: Will there be a $1 Admission Day?
- No, there will be no $1 dollar admission days to The Fair this year. At $6, admission to The Great New York State Fair is the most affordable state fair admission in the United States.
Q: What about free admission on “Special Days?”
- Student Youth Day: Youth and students, ages 18 years old and younger, will receive free admission on Thursday, August 24. In some cases, they may be asked for photo identification to verify their birthday.
- Law Enforcement Day: Those who are active and retired members of police and/or corrections departments- paid and volunteer – will receive free admission with photo identification on Law Enforcement Day on Monday, August 28.
- Fire & Rescue Day: Those who are active and retired members of fire departments or emergency medical services organizations – paid and volunteer – will receive free admission with photo identification on Fire & Rescue Day, on Tuesday, August 29.
- Armed Forces Day: All members of the military – active duty and veteran – will receive free admission with proper military identification (Military ID card, form DD-214 or a government issued I.D. with a veteran designation) on Armed Forces Day, on Thursday, August 31.
- Native Americans Day: All people who identify as Native American will receive free admission on Friday, September 1.
Q: Am I required to print out my admission ticket?
- Printing is not required. You may show admission tickets and parking tickets on your phone at gate entrances and parking lot entrances.
Parking, Transportation, Ride-Share & Accessibility:
Q: How do I purchase parking for the State Fair?
- Parking ($10) tickets may be purchased online in advance through Etix. On the day(s) you visit, you may show your ticket to parking attendants electronically on your phone or show a printed copy. In the Orange and Brown lots, parking may also be paid for using EZPass Plus (a free add-on to EZPass, which allows users to pay for parking in addition to highway tolls).
- Parking may also be purchased in-person in the parking lots using a debit or credit card.
- Note, there are no cash sales at The Fair’s entrances or in parking lots.
Q: Where do I park?
- The New York State Fairgrounds has parking for 23,000+ vehicles. Parking is available in designated Orange (starting at 9 a.m. daily), Brown, Pink, and Gray lots (starting at 6:00 a.m. daily), and during the weekends – and in overflow situations – at the Willis Avenue lot.
Q: I (or someone in my party) has an accessible parking tag/license plate. Where do I park?
Fairgoers living with disabilities – or transporting those living with disabilities – may park in either of the Fair’s two paved accessible parking lots:
- The Pink Accessible Parking Lot is located on State Fair Boulevard, across from Gate 3.
- The Gray Accessible Parking Lot is located on the west end of the Fairgrounds, off of State Fair Boulevard. Enter through Gate 6.
- Please note, a limited number of parking spaces are reserved for those living with disabilities in the Orange Lot and unpaved Brown Lot.
Q: Where are the Centro pick-up and drop-off locations?
- Fairgoers will recognize the Centro drop-off and pick-up points, which are just to the left of the Main Gate.
- Centro buses will run continuously to and from the Main Gate from the Syracuse Transit Hub in Downtown Syracuse, and Park-N-Ride locations at Destiny USA in Syracuse, and Long Branch Park in Liverpool.
- Cost: A one-way ride costs $1, and $.50 for people living with a disability, and children ages 6 to 9 years old. Centro is free for those who are under 6 years old.
- Parking at a Park-N-Ride location is free of charge.
Q: Are there designated Ride Share locations?
- Yes, Ridesharing and Taxi Services may pick-up and drop-off fairgoers inside the Pink Parking lot, positioned along State Fair Boulevard between Gates 3 and 4. There is no pick-up or drop-off at the Main Gate at any time, and the Ridesharing/ Taxi area is not to be used for drop-off and pick-up by non-service type vehicles. Click here to view a map outlining the area.
Q: What about transportation on the Fairgrounds?
- For the convenience of fairgoers, trams run continuously on the Fairgrounds, stopping at nine stops from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- A dedicated ADA shuttle runs continuously between the Gray Accessible Parking lot, located outside Gate 10 to Tram Stop #3 at the rear entrance of the Horticulture Building from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Midnight). Click here to view all nine tram stops.
Q: Where are the Accessible Restrooms?
- The State Fair has a variety of restrooms distributed throughout the Fairgrounds. For locations of all restrooms, please click here, or pick up one of the maps of the Fairgrounds found at any Guest Relations Booth while you’re at The Fair.
- The State Fair’s Accessible Restrooms are depicted in blue, and its All-Gender/Family Restrooms are depicted in purple.
Q: Are there electric wheelchairs available to rent?
- There are scooter and wheelchair (standard and HD) rental services available at The Fair. Rental hours are from 9:00 am until close daily. Equipment is available at three locations, all outlined on the attached map: Inside the Main Gate (Gate 1), Inside Gate 3, and outside Gate 10. You may also rent a scooter or wheelchair by reserving online at this link or by calling 888-441-7575. Early reservations are recommended. Click here for more information about accessibility offerings while at The Fair.
Q: Which entertainment areas have reserved accessible seating?
- Reserved accessible seating areas are available at Chevy Court, Suburban Park, and at the Talent Showcase/Regional Showcase Stage. There is also reserved accessible seating inside the Toyota Coliseum, Youth Building, and Empire Theater. Please view this map to see the locations.
Q: I (or someone in my party) is deaf and/or hard of hearing. Are there interpreter services available?
- The Great New York State Fair has interpreter services at many of the scheduled events and activities throughout The Fair, including the major concerts. Fairgoers are encouraged to visit the Guest Services Center (located behind the Chevy Court Stage at Gate 1) to inquire about interpreter events, and how to contact/reserve an interpreter.
What’s New and What’s Coming Back?
Q: What’s new at The Fair this year?
There are many new things to see at The Fair this year. Construction on a new Goat Pavilion is complete, and right now, crews are putting the finishing touches on new pedestrian-friendly streetscape improvements along Restaurant Row. There’s also a new permanent restaurant stand for Tully’s. In terms of exhibits, fairgoers don’t want to miss the following:
- Asian Village: The Great New York State Fair is excited to announce the addition of Asian Village, where fairgoers are invited to immerse themselves into Southeast Asia, as they experience the smells, flavors, and experiences that Asian and Pacific Islander communities are known for. Asian Village, located closest to the Gate 4 entrance, not far from the Youth Building (and identified as #40 on the accompanying map), opens Wednesday August 23 and continues through the first Saturday of The Fair, August 26. Asian Village recognizes the contributions, history, and experiences of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities through food, music, dance and more. Fairgoers will be able to sample traditional Asian cuisine, take in singing, drumming and Lion Dance, and watch fashion shows representing the styles of 20 different nations.
- Dinosaur Expedition Exhibit: Go back in time to the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth as more than 60 true-to-life-size, prehistoric, life-like dinosaurs fill The Expo Center. The must-see exhibit features dinosaurs that range in size from babies (still 3-feet tall!) to 35-foot tall mammoths, spanning as long as 80 feet. With moving heads, necks, tails and wings, visitors will feel like they really are among the dinosaurs. Interactive features include photo booths and selfie spots, dinosaur dance parties, and a fossil dig. Educational components include a fossil dig, and Storytime every hour. You can find these pre-historic creatures inside the Expo Center for the entirety of The Fair.
- Voice of the Farmer Garden: The Great New York State Fair is the first state fair in the United States to host the Voice of the Farmer Garden exhibit. Visitors can learn about the variety of crops grown here in New York State and across the county and gain an appreciation and understanding of the economic and environmental impacts of Agriculture in America. Located near the Goat Pavilion, kitty-corner from the Family Fun Zone, the Voice of the Farmer Garden offers opportunities to see and smell what’s “growing on.”
- Digital Kiosks: As guests explore The Fairgrounds, they’ll see ten new interactive kiosks in their paths. The kiosks are designed to make wayfinding and schedule planning a little easier. Touch the screen to access maps, daily schedules outlining concerts, agriculture attractions, and grounds entertainment acts. Visitors are encouraged to use The Fair’s Showcase of Stars Entertainment Map as a planning tool as well. Stars mark the locations where to find your favorite performers, while music notes denote places to listen to live music.
Q: What is coming back that hasn’t been at The Fair in a while?
- Talent Showcase & Regional Showcase: After a three-year hiatus – in part because of the pandemic – The Fair is excited to announce the return of both showcases.
- Talent Showcase will bring dozens of the brightest young stars from 10 counties to perform in a competition that kicks off August 24 and continues through August 29. Then, fairgoers are encouraged to cheer for their favorite aspiring stars during the Talent Showcase Finals scheduled for September 1 and 2.
- Regional Showcase shines a spotlight on some of the best well-known regional acts spread throughout the state. Sing and dance along to your favorite hometown celebrities.
- Full Flower & Produce Show: For the first time since 2019, the Daily Flower and Produce Show is back in Center Court of the Horticulture Building. Each day, a different theme will be highlighted, enhanced with demonstrations and talks led by representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension, regional Flower Societies, and Future Farmers of America (FFA) groups. Click here to see the full flower show and demonstration schedule.
Midway & Entertainment:
Q: How much is it to ride Midway rides? / How do I purchase Midway tickets?
- Individual ride tickets can be purchased at any Wade Shows ticket booth on the Midway during the New York State Fair for $6.25 for five tickets.
- Wristbands, which grant “Ride All Day Access,” can be purchased online at a discount cost of $25/person until 12 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23. Click here to purchase tickets online. After the Fair starts, the cost of wristbands goes up to $35 on weekdays, and $45 on weekends.
- A Mega Pass option is also available online through Wade Shows’ Website, which grants fairgoers unlimited rides all day every day for $85. Note, this must be purchased by 12 p.m. on August 23.
- Wade Shows continues to use “Fair Pass,” a digital ticketing app, that allows fairgoers to purchase tickets electronically through the FunTagg App, and avoid waiting in line. The FunTagg App is available through the App Store or Google play. While at The Fair, fairgoers can look for FunTagg Kiosks to load credit onto a card electronically. More information is available at Wade Shows’ website – scroll down about halfway to learn more.
Q: Are there any more discounts planned, or special deals?
Save these dates for cost-saving options: On Two Dollar Tuesday, set for Tuesday, August 29, all rides cost $2. Dollar Day, where all rides cost $1, returns to The Midway Monday, September 4.
Q: How many rides does the Wade Shows Midway have? Anything new this year?
- The Wade Shows Midway has more than 60 rides. Wade Shows is introducing two new rides, the Double Deck Carousel and the Bertazzon Wave Swinger. Plus, fairgoers have an opportunity to be among the first to slide down the newly refurbished Mega Drag Strip Slide. Click here to read descriptions and scope out thrills.
Q: How many tickets do the rides take?
- Each ride takes between two and five tickets to ride.
Q: Where is the Chevrolet Music Series Concert Schedule posted?
- The full Chevrolet Music Series schedule, featuring 48 performances, is provided at the State Fair’s website and is free with Fair admission. Click here to view the Chevy Court schedule. Click here to view the Suburban Park Schedule.
Q: Will more concerts be announced?
- Every concert that is a part of the Chevrolet Music Series has been announced. Links to the full schedules are provided at the bullet above.
Q: What is the difference between Chevy Court and Suburban Park?
- The Chevy Court Stage is located in front of the Fairgrounds, not far from Gate 1. Concerts at Chevy Court are set for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily, except for Labor Day*. Chevy Court is known for its more intimate, bleacher-style seating.
- The Suburban Park Stage is located in the rear of the Fairgrounds in the Experience Area, closest to Gate 10 and 11. At Suburban Park, concerts start at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., except on Labor Day*. At Suburban Park, bleacher style seats are available on a first-come, first-served base, but there are also Adirondack Chairs to choose from. This venue provides more of a “park feel” than Chevy Court.
*On Labor Day, Chevy Court concerts start at 12 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Suburban Park concerts start at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Q: Where can I find a list of other entertainment at The Fair?
- New this year, Fairgoers can use the Entertainment Finder QR code found on the map that’ll direct them to a list of all Grounds Entertainment at The Fair.
- The locations for entertainment are marked on the map with a star, and any place that hosts live music is marked with a music note.
- The Fair also keeps a running list of attractions on its website, found under the “Entertainment” tab. Here, fairgoers will find a list of grounds entertainment acts, including fan favorites such as Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy, Bandaloni the One Man Band, and the Sea Lion Splash Show, as well as new acts including Lady Houdini and Groovy Guy.
- There are also stages located in the Asian Village (August 23 – August 26), Pan-African Village, Latino Village (September 1 – September 4) and Indian Village.
- Daily Schedules are continuously updated, and provided here, accessible under the “Your Visit” tab on the Fair’s website.
Q: When and where are Special Ceremonies scheduled?
- Special Ceremonies will be held on the following days and times:
- August 25: Pride Day Flag Raising Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at Main Gate
- August 28: Law Enforcement Day Ceremony at 12:00 p.m. at Veterans Memorial
- August 29: Fire & Rescue Day Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. at Veterans Memorial
- August 31: Armed Forces Day Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. at Veterans Memorial
Q: When and where are Parades scheduled?
- Parades will step off from the Exposition Center on the following days and times:
- August 25: Pride Day Parade at 6 p.m.
- August 28: Law Enforcement Day Parade at 6 p.m.
- August 29: Fire & Rescue Day Parade at 6 p.m.
- August 31: Armed Forces Day Parade at 6 p.m.
- September 4: Labor Day Parade at 10:30 a.m.
Q: Will there be any horse shows this year during The Fair?
- There are many horse shows planned throughout The Fair, taking place almost every day in both the Toyota Coliseum (identified as 37 on the accompanying map) and the 4-H Youth Arena (identified as 19 on the accompanying map). Some of the more popular horse shows that The Fair is consistently asked about include:
- Barrell Racing is scheduled to take place all day Saturday, August 26 in the Coliseum. The show starts at 8:00 am but come at 9:00 am when gates open!
- Western and English Dressage is scheduled, starting at 9:00 am Friday, September 1 and 9:00 am Saturday, September 2 in the 4-H Horse Arena
Q: What are the best values at The Fair?
- Dollar Day on The Midway: On Labor Day, Monday, September 4, all the rides on the Wade Shows Midway will cost $1 per ride (excluding the Broadway Skyliner). On Labor Day, The Midway is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Last Call for “Dollar Day” Midway Sales is at 7:30 p.m. Note, ride tickets are only available for purchase at Wade Shows’ Ticket Booths on The Midway.
- New this year, Wade Shows is offering a “Two Dollar Tuesday” sale where all rides will cost $2 on Tuesday, August 29.
Favorite Fair Foods:
- A family of four can enjoy four perfectly chilled cups of milk for $1 at the Dairy Products Building. The tradition of $.25 Milk continues thanks to the New York State Milk Bar Operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension. White Milk and Chocolate Milk will be poured daily during The Fair. On the Fair’s Final Weekend, White Milk will be swapped out for Strawberry Milk.
- Fairgoers can enjoy a $1 Baked Potato or Sweet Potato with all the fixings at The Great Potato Booth, located in the Horticulture Building.
- Free Entertainment: Between international and national recording artists at Chevy Court and Suburban Park, grounds entertainment, and live music at various bars and restaurants located throughout the Fairgrounds, there are ample opportunities to enjoy free, world class entertainment. Start to plan your Fair Day(s) by clicking here.
Q: What is The Fair doing to help ensure the safety of visitors and provide peace of mind?
- The Fair takes matters of safety and security very seriously. Year-round, The Fair’s Emergency Management Office holds exercises with partners at the local, state, and federal level to identify ways to make a strong system even stronger. Keeping fairgoers, vendors, and all Fair staff safe is the top priority. Click here to read The Fair’s Rules of Conduct policy.
Q: What is the Fair’s policy on smoking on the grounds?
- Smoking is prohibited by law inside all Fair buildings and under tents on The Fairgrounds, and by policy throughout The Fairgrounds. This policy is consistent with the experience visitors have at other large, outside public spaces including New York State public parks and beaches. The Fair has five “Designated Smoking Locations” outside Pedestrian Gates 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11A, 50 feet from gate entrances, identified in green on the master map. Signs and smoking receptacles will be placed at these locations.
- Any product that is legal to smoke in New York State can be smoked in those designated areas.
Q: With the Canadian Wild Fires still top of mind, what precautions is The Fair taking in regards to monitoring Air Quality Index?
- The Fair is in regular contact with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Air Resources and partners in Emergency Services Management, closely monitoring Air Quality. In the event that Air Quality is deemed unhealthy, The Fair will have masks available to distribute to fairgoers. At this point, there are no plans to cancel / postpone activities, but if there are any schedule changes, The Fair will share all of the pertinent details on its website and social media platforms. Fairgoers are encouraged to bookmark the Fair’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds to stay up to date.
The Fair begins next Wednesday, August 23, and continues through Monday, September 4. 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 oldest state fair in the United States, and the third largest fair in the country.