Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

August 23, 2007

Great New York State Fair Opens for The 161st Year

“Gotta Be There” for Twelve Days of Food, Agriculture, Fun and More

(Syracuse, N.Y.)- New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and New York State Fair Director Dan O'Hara today opened the 161st Annual New York State Fair, which features more than 375 acres of exhibits, rides, food and entertainment over a 12-day period from August 23 through Labor Day, September 3.

The theme of this year's New York State Fair is "Gotta Be There," reflecting the remarkable collections of exhibits, foods, entertainment and activities that have made the Fair a summer destination for all New Yorkers year after year.

"This Fair just keeps getting better and better," Commissioner Hooker said. "As a kid I was usually busy in the FFA Building, my dad wanted to see what was new at DEC, and my mom would always stop and see all the quilts on display in the Grange Building. All of those attractions, coupled with the delicious Fair food and fun atmosphere make the New York State Fair great for my family. So whether you come for the animals, the sausage sandwich, the blue ribbons or the concerts, you just "Gotta Be There!"

"I welcome all fairgoers to our wonderful showcase of what's best about New York. This 12 day event provides a meeting place to learn more about agriculture in a fun and entertaining way, along with all the other traditions this great event feaures," Fair Director Dan O'Hara said.

Opening ceremonies focused around the core of the New York State Fair, its agriculture and animal exhibits. Front and center at the opening ceremony were numerous 4-H and FFA youth who exhibit their livestock and horticulture projects at the Fair. This year's total number of exhibitors in all Fair classes should approach 10,000 with entries in all categories near 40,000 when all the numbers are compiled.

Cornell University President David Skorton recognized the important role the State's land grant college has played in the tenure of agriculture in New York State. He recognized one of the University's own, the late Dr. Robert Baker, a former poultry science and food science profesor, who was a known leader in the agricultural industry and whose legacy will remain a mainstay at the State Fair with Baker's Chicken Coop that serves his barbeque chicken recipe on Restaurant Row.

At the Fair, Commissioner Hooker and State Fair Director O'Hara were joined by numerous other Commissioners and State officials. Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis was joined by Agriculture Commissioner Hooker at DEC's Aquarium to renew their fishing and hunting licenses. Also, State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash and Commissioner Hooker touted the importance of sun safety at the State's smallest State Park. In the Dairy Barn, Commissioner Hooker met with officials from the Center for Dairy Excellence who unveiled their new educational and promotional campaign for the State's dairy industry. (See separate releases on these three events).

In addition, officials visited the new Pride of New York exhibit inside the main gate of the Fair, lunched at Dinosaur Barbeque in Chevrolet Court and visited the Horticulture Building with numerous agricultural organizations and exibits, including the new New York State Brewery Exhibit, which features New York's 59 breweries.

For more information about the Great New York State Fair, or directions, ticket information, concert line-ups and more, visit the New York State Fair website at or call 1-800-475-FAIR.

2007 Press Releases