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

August 03, 2016

Butterflies From Around the World Debut at the 2016 Great New York State Fair

Curator: First Time Ever for Exotic Butterfly Species to be Featured in a Traveling Exhibit

The Great New York State Fair’s popular Butterfly Exhibit will for the very first time feature butterflies from around the world at the 2016 Fair, Acting Director Troy Waffner announced today.  The exhibit’s owner, SkyRiver Butterflies, worked for several years to secure federal government permission to show foreign butterflies in a traveling exhibit.  The Great New York State Fair will mark the first time that has happened.

The exhibit, located in the Horticulture Building, draws thousands of fairgoers who step into a controlled area amidst up to 1,000 live butterflies.  The beautiful creatures fly around the enclosure and land gently on people, creating some of the most unique photo opportunities available at the Fair.

Until now, the exhibit has featured about a dozen domestic butterflies, such as the yellow-and-black Tiger Swallowtail.  This year, those breeds will be joined by as many as 20 exotic breeds, such as Costa Rica’s electric blue Blue Morpho, the wide-winged Paper Kite of Asia, the white-spotted Postman of Africa, and the Scarlet Mormon of the Philippines, a black butterfly with dramatic bright red markings.

SkyRiver Butterflies is building an all-new enclosure for the exhibit and extra precautions will be taken to ensure that butterflies do not escape the exhibit, in line with the federal government requirements to prevent the spread of foreign, invasive species.

Admission to the exhibit will be $2.

“We are very excited about the wonderful addition to a very popular exhibit.  I know fairgoers are going to love this. The addition of exotic species is one more thing that you can only find at the Great New York State Fair and I urge everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to see these beautiful creatures that help pollinate our food and flowers,” said Waffner.

“It used to be you could wander into entire fields full of butterflies.  Now, it can be hard just to find one.  This might be the only opportunity kids have today to see butterflies, and to understand why they’re important and why it’s worthwhile to save the places they live,” said John Dailey of SkyRiver Butterflies.

At the end of the exhibit, the butterflies will be provided to a butterfly conservatory. 

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5, 2016.  The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "Find Your GREAT!," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gateó the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation.  More information on the revitalization is available here and renderings can be viewed here.

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. 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

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