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August 20, 2017

Grammy Winner Mary Lambert Highlights Pride Day Events at the Great New York State Fair

Pulse Nightclub Manager, CNY Native, to Speak at Pride Day Ceremony

Singer/songwriter Mary Lambert, whose collaboration with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis earned them Grammy award nominations, will close an evening of music celebrating Pride Day at the 2017 Great New York State Fair, Friday August 25.  Pride Day is the only official day celebrating members of the LGBTQ community at any state fair in the nation.

In 2012, Lambert got a call from a friend who was working with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.  They had a song, but couldn’t come up with a chorus.  Could Lambert write one for them?  Three hours later, she had the chorus to “Same Love,” which she wrote from her perspective of being both a Christian and a lesbian.  She was the featured vocalist for the song, which was nominated for two Grammy awards, including Song of the Year.

Also appearing for Pride Day events is Brian Reagan, who was the manager of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016 when a terrorist opened fire on patrons of the club, killing 49 people and wounding dozens more.  Reagan, who graduated from Bishop Ludden High School in Syracuse, moved to Orlando not long after graduating and went from being a patron at Pulse to its manager.  He was not injured in the attack.

Pride Day events begin at 9:30 am in front of the Main Gate, when the Pride Flag is raised over the Fairgrounds.  A ceremony marking the day takes place at 5 pm on the Empire Experience Stage, and all LGBTQ fairgoers are welcome to march in the Fair’s Special Day Parade, which begins at 6 pm behind the Center of Progress Building.  Reagan will be among the speakers at the 5 pm event.  In addition, an information fair for LGBTQ people and family members takes place during the day at the Chevy Court Pavilion.

Lambert’s performance will be one of several on the Empire Experience Stage.  The LGBT Chorus will perform at 4:30 pm, and the David Bowie tribute band The Band That Fell To Earth will perform at 7 pm.

State Fair Acting Director Troy Waffner said, “The Fair is a celebration of all of New York’s diverse people.  We are working harder than ever to reflect the diversity of our state and are proud to provide a welcoming home for members of the LGBTQ community and all others.”

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 23 to September 4, 2017. 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 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 Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2017 Press Releases