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

July 10, 2015

Oh, Say Can You Sing the National Anthem at the Great New York State Fair?

“Star Spangled Challenge” Seeks Great Voices to Open the Fair’s Day

The Great New York State Fair is seeking singers to be the very first musical performers of each day.  The Fair’s “Star Spangled Challenge” contest is looking for New Yorkers to sing or play the National Anthem live on one of the Fair’s 12 days, according to Troy Waffner, Acting Fair Director.

For many years, the Fair has played a recorded version of the anthem before the daily opening of Fair buildings and exhibits.  This contest aims to find 12 people to perform the song twice in one day: once at 9:30 a.m. at Chevy Court to open the Fair, and again at 1 p.m. in the Toyota Coliseum to kick off afternoon equestrian competitions.

“The Star Spangled Banner is America’s most important song and it deserves respectful live performances.  This is an exciting new way to unearth fresh talent at the Fair and I can’t think of a better way to begin each morning,” said Waffner.

Contestants should videotape themselves singing or performing instrumentally the first verse of “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Tapes should not exceed three minutes.  There are three ways to enter the contest:

  • Upload videos to the contest site on the Fair’s Facebook page, at, and fill out the brief entry form there.
  • Email submissions to
  • Drop off entries on DVD at the State Fair administrative office or mail them to the Fair at 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse NY, 13209.

Entries must be uploaded, emailed, or postmarked by midnight, July 21, 2015.  All entries must include the performer’s name, address, and phone number.

All videos will be posted on the Fair’s Facebook page through August 7 for a public vote to select the 12 winners.  Winners will be notified of the date of their performance prior to the opening of the Fair.  Each winner will also receive four admission tickets, a parking pass, and a $40 voucher good for purchases at the Fair’s food stands.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 27 to 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