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

March 12, 2014

Department of Agriculture and Markets Announces Wade Shows Selected as New Operator of the Midway at the Great New York State Fair

“Showcase NY” Themed Foods, Rides, Games and Amenities
to be Spotlighted on the Midway this Year and for Years to Come
Acting State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that Wade Shows of Livonia, Michigan has been selected as the newest operator of the Midway at the Great New York State Fair. Wade was selected after an extensive Request for Proposals (RFP) process that began in the summer of 2013. Wade takes over operations of the Midway from James E. Strates Shows of Orlando, Florida.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the new rides and attractions that Wade Shows will bring to the Midway of the Great New York State Fair this year,” Acting Commissioner Ball said. “The theme of this year’s Fair is ‘Summer’s Best in Show’ and we are clearly starting off on the right foot. Over the years, this company has gained a deserved reputation for increasing both revenue and attendance at agricultural fairs, while providing a superior entertainment product for Fairgoers. We greatly look forward to this new era at the Fair, which we believe will be exciting for the thousands of visitors who come to this mecca of upstate tourism every year.”
Acting Commissioner Ball continued, “I’d also like to thank James E. Strates Shows for creating a lifetime of memories for Fairgoers over the past seven plus decades. Your friendship to The Fair and your contributions to building and promoting tourism in Upstate New York will never be forgotten.”
Wade Shows provides Midway attractions for more state fairs than any other operator in the United States, including some of the most highly attended agricultural fairs in the country, such as the Tulsa State Fair, the Florida State Fair, the North Carolina State Fair, the South Florida Fair, the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the Oklahoma State Fair.
Wade Shows is strongly committed to the safety of Fairgoers and has a proactive ride safety program. Employees are trained to conduct independent daily ride inspections in cooperation with a third party safety inspector. Employees are also trained in ride conduct, and they, in partnership with the third party safety inspector, will work in partnership with the Division of Safety and Health staff from the New York State Department of Labor during the 2014 Fair. Staff at Wade are also trained in loading and unloading rides efficiently to ensure lines move smoothly.
“Showcase NY” will be on full display throughout the Midway, complete with New York State-themed rides, games and foods. Wade Shows has demonstrated its intentions to improve the appearance of the Midway at the 2014 Fair, from utilizing plants from local landscapers to a consistent look and feel throughout the Midway.
At least 63 new rides, 25 food stands, 70 games, and 25 novelty and other sales booths will be coming to the 2014 Fair on what will likely be an expanded Midway. Many of these rides have never been to New York before, including at least one of the two largest portable roller coasters in the country, which will be coming in 2014.
All Wade Shows staff travel with the show and will be on site at the 2014 Great New York State Fair for all 12 days, including President and CEO Frank Zaitshik as well as a General Unit Manager, Co-Operations Manager, Concession Manager, Ride Manager, Safety Manager, E-ticketing manager, and Midway Beautification Manager. Many staff members have been part of the Wade Shows team for more than three decades.
Wade Shows will implement the FUNCARD e-ticketing system used at previous New York State Fairs. The company will provide wristband discount pricing every day of the Fair, along with advance sales of wristbands in an effort to save Fairgoers money.
A few other details for the Fairgoing public:
  • Wade Shows food stands cook only with trans-fat free oils. Gluten-free stands will also be available on the Midway.
  • Misting stations will be located throughout the Midway to allow Fairgoers to cool off on hot days.
  • Wade Shows will be bringing over 100 benches and picnic tables to the Midway, complete with shelter from the sun and rain.
An RFP was issued last year by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets seeking proposals for a 10 year contract to operate the Midway at the Great New York State Fair. Three bidders went through the complete RFP process, outlining their work histories, safety and inspection processes, operations, pricing, proposed rides, games, concessions, references, and more. In-person presentations from the three bidders were conducted on March 5, 2014. Wade Shows was the winner of the RFP and was informed today.
For more information about Wade Shows, please visit:
The Great 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, reflected in its 2014 theme, “Summer’s Best in Show,” 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

2014 Press Releases