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

December 06, 2016

State Agriculture Commissioner Reminds New Yorkers about State Fair Phase Two Public Input Session Tonight

Public Invited to Attend Comment Session to Help Shape Future Improvements to the NYS Fairgrounds

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today reminded fairgoers and Central New York residents about the New York State Fair Phase Two Task Force public comment session being held tonight to help shape future improvements to the New York State Fairgrounds.  The Task Force was appointed by the Governor in November to recommend projects for Phase Two of the State Fair Master Plan, which will build on the State’s sweeping $50 million plan to revitalize the historic fairgrounds in Onondaga County.

State Agriculture Commissioner & Co-Chair of the State Fair Task Force Richard A. Ball said, “The unprecedented success of this year's Fair supports its standing as a major economic engine for Central NY and the State and it’s important we continue to reinvest in its growth. As Co-Chair of the State Fair Task Force, I am excited to work with this great group of people to further improve the Fairgrounds and the experience for visitors. I also look forward to the fresh ideas and unique perspective we will get from fairgoers this evening.”

To allow fairgoers the opportunity to engage in the early planning phase, the Task Force has scheduled the public comment session for tonight, December 6 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.   The meeting will be held in the Art and Home Center at the Fairgrounds.  The meeting can also be viewed through live webcast here. In addition, the Task Force is inviting New Yorkers to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

Onondaga County Executive & Co-Chair of the State Fair Task Force Joanie Mahoney said, “Public input is very important as we continue to build a stronger future for the Fair and Fairgrounds. We hope people will consider sharing their thoughts with us to ensure we meet Governor Cuomo’s desire for the strongest plan possible going forward.”

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “We look forward to the hard work necessary to make this second phase of the project into an even greater success. The Task Force will help guide the process as it looks at key areas of improvement, whether it be transportation options or continuing to promote New York’s food and beverage businesses.  We encourage the public to join the Task Force at these comment sessions and share their vision for the 2017 New York State Fair.”

Phase Two Improvements to the State Fair
The Governor charged the new Task Force with making additional recommendations and developing fresh ideas for Phase Two of the State's ongoing investment in the fairgrounds.

The State will invest as much as an additional $50 million for the completion of Phase Two of the Master Plan, pending the recommendations of the Task Force and Legislative support.

Specifically, the Task Force is focusing on:
  • Improving transportation options between the amphitheater at Onondaga Lake to the fairgrounds, so fairgoers can make the most of this state-of-the-art facility during their visit;
  • Addressing public transportation and parking around the Fair to better accommodate the increasing number of attendees and make it easier for people to get to and from the Fair;
  • Building the partnership between the County and the village of Solvay to connect the work being done on Milton Avenue and along the Bridge Street corridor;
  • Ensuring the Fair remains a world-class showcase for our Taste NY entrepreneurs and leveraging the state’s food and beverage industries.

The Task Force will provide the Governor with its recommendations for additional investment opportunities by the end of the year. 

The Phase One improvements were debuted at the 2016 State Fair and included a new welcoming Main Gate, an Empire RV Park and wide open spaces for vendors and a reconfigured Wade Shows Midway.  The changes were well received and led to record-breaking attendance figures.

The 2016 Great New York State Fair generated the highest level of attendance with a record 1,117,630 visitors. The Governor’s $50 million fairgrounds investment and the $1 million I LOVE NEW YORK marketing campaign led to the biggest crowd in the Fair’s 175-year history. The expanded Wade Shows Midway set records for revenues and number of rides provided, while fairgoers flocked to the Fair's diverse lineup of musical and grounds performers. The Fairgrounds’ new Empire RV Park was sold out.

About the New York State Fair
The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 24 to September 4, 2017. The Fair's mission is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

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, on Snapchat at “nysfair” and enjoy photos from the Fair at

2016 Press Releases