Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Joe Morrissey, 518-457-0752,
Dave Bullard, 315-487-7711 x 1377,

December 04, 2013

Wild Racing Action Indoors This Saturday at the State Fairgrounds

Weekend Also Features Crafts Show; Bike Donation Effort Continues

Acting State Agriculture Commissioner James B. Bays today announced the following events running from Friday, December 6 to Sunday, December 8 at the New York State Fairgrounds:

You can expect wild action Saturday in the Center of Progress Building, when the green flag drops for the 21st annual New York State Indoor Kart Racing Championship.  The track is only 100 feet in diameter and has no straightaways.  Up to 12 karts will roar around the track at a time, with each lap taking about 6 seconds.  It makes for tight, exciting racing action.

Race promoter Rick Martell likens the small track to boiling sap to make maple syrup. “The more you condense it down, the more intense it is, and that's how indoor racing works. You get fierce wheel-to-wheel action in 6 second laps,” he said on the event’s website. “The karts pull 1.4 lateral G's in the corners, and because the track is inside a building, it's all turns. There are no straights on which the drivers can momentarily relax. From green to checkered, it's full throttle, with occasional taps on the brakes to stay off the guy in front of you. It's the most challenging racing in karts."

The track is a layer of rubber laid down on the Center of Progress’s concrete floor.  Infrared lights keep the rubber warm and supple.  Workers then use an unusual substance to help cars stick to the surface.  They cover the track in cola syrup.  They then run cars with fresh tires around the track.  The tires give up some of their rubber to the syrup and that creates a surface so sticky that organizers claim your sneakers will stick to it unless they’re tied very tightly.

Last year’s event drew racers from every Northeastern state and Ontario, Canada for more than 70 races in many categories.  Racing begins at 11 a.m. Saturday.  General admission and a pit pass is $15 for adults, $10 for children under 12, and free for children under 5.

125 arts and crafts vendors will pack the Horticulture Building from Friday to Sunday for the Syracuse Holiday Crafts Spectacular, presented by the New York State Public Employees Federation.  This is a juried event.  The event’s organizer notes that the vendors tend to be local, and buying a gift from them also supports local artists.

New this year is a Happy Hour event from 5:00 8:00 p.m. Friday.  The event features a selection of beers from Middle Ages Brewing Company along with free samples of Cabot cheese and Vermont Smoke and Cure sausages.  Returning will be the annual Gingerbread House contest run by Habitat for Humanity.  The homes entered for the display will be part of an auction that includes art works from local artists.  Funds raised will support Habitat’s ongoing work to build homes for people.

Food will be available for sale in the building’s restaurant. Admission is $6.  The event runs from Noon 8:00 p.m. Friday, 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. Sunday.

The annual holiday-season bicycle drop-off continues daily in the Dairy Building.  Syracuse-area businessman Jan Maloff accepts donations of bicycles, bike parts, scooters, and electric toys, as well as money to buy bikes and parts.  The donations can be dropped off between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. daily, including weekends.  It’s the 21st year of his mission to make sure children have bikes.  Last year, more than 2,500 bikes were given away.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 21 September 1, 2014.  The Fair’s mission is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2013 Press Releases