Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
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Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377

April 29, 2015

Great New York State Fair Announces Public Workshop to Gather Input on Planned Transformation of Fairgrounds

Listening Session Marks Beginning of First Major Update to Fairgrounds in a Century

The Great New York State Fair will host a public workshop as it begins the process of determining the elements that will go into the first major renovation of the grounds in a century, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner announced today.

The workshop will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 in the Martha Eddy Room at the Art & Home Center on the Fairgrounds.  The public is invited.

“We are committed to an open and transparent process in order to determine how to best use the land we have to accomplish Governor Cuomo’s goals of better promoting New York agriculture and increasing tourism at the Fairgrounds year round.   The Fair means so much to so many people and it’s important that their voices are heard.  I look forward to hearing from our constituency at this event and can’t wait to get the ball rolling on this once-in-a lifetime project,” said Waffner.

The meeting will be conducted by the lead consulting firm in charge of the project, M.J. Engineering and Land Surveying of Clifton Park, NY.  There will be a brief overview of the process to be used, followed by the listening session.  It will begin with formal comments from stakeholder groups. Public comments will take place after the completion of formal comments. Members of the public who wish to speak will be asked to sign up at the door.  Speakers will have three minutes to offer comments.  The meeting will end promptly at 8:00 p.m. 

Members of the public who wish to comment on the project but cannot attend the hearing are welcome to send their comments to

In her recent State of the County Address, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney presented a vision for this $50 million state-funded project intended to bring the nation’s first and oldest state fair into the modern age while tying it into the overall redevelopment of the western shore of Onondaga Lake and Geddes/Solvay area.  Among the possible elements are an expanded horse show arena, ice hockey complex, and permanent RV park, along with infrastructure improvements.

It is also aimed at growing the Fairgrounds’ off-season business.  The Fairgrounds hosts more than 100 private and public events each year, including large trade shows, vehicle and equipment sales, and equestrian and other animal-related events run by private vendors.

This will be the largest project carried out at the Fairgrounds since the construction of its historic central buildings in the early 20th Century.  A key goal is to attract more people to the annual 12-day event, which is already one of the largest state fairs in the nation.  The fairgrounds have called 375 acres of land in the Onondaga County town of Geddes their home since 1890.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 27 September 7, 2015.  The Fair’s mission, reflected in its 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

2015 Press Releases