The New York State Fair is a twelve-day event that begins at the end of August and usually overlaps Labor Day weekend. The NY State Fairgrounds play host to a wide selection of concerts, exhibitions, races, and many other attractions, but none of these New York events are as eagerly anticipated as the state fair. Besides offering visitors the opportunity to see some twenty national acts along with the price of admission to the fair, there are a multitude of exhibits, as well as competitions for everything from wine to livestock. The 2020 New York State Fair will return with more competitions and exhibits than ever before in its history, which comprises over 160 years.
The NY State Fairgrounds are located on the outskirts of Syracuse at the Empire Expo Center. The Expo Center offers 375 acres in west Syracuse.
New York State Fair History and Facts
The first year of existence for the New York State Fair was 1846. The fair moved around to a number of host cities in the state until it finally took up permanent residence in Syracuse. This long-running tradition gives New York State Fair history a richness that many state fairs cannot rival. In the early days, the focus tended to be exclusively on agriculture, while nowadays competitions are held in categories ranging from home brew making and fine arts to dairy cattle and flowers. The doors open at 7 a.m. and there are themed days, including Student’s Day, Veteran’s Day, and Firefighter’s Day.
Tickets to New York State Fair
The variety of ticket packages is relatively limited, but include advance and group tickets that provide discount off of the normal cost of admission. You can purchase daily tickets in the $10 range and when you pay for admission to any grandstand shows (where the large concerts with national performers are held) you also receive admission to the fair for that entire day. Kids under twelve get in for free every day of the New York State Fair 2020. There are discounts and free days for seniors and students so it is advisable to keep track of what deals are offered as the state fair inches closer.
Directions to New York State Fair
You can easily access the NY State Fairgrounds from 690 West. The grounds are located at 581 State Fair Boulevard in Syracuse. If you are coming from the west, take the New York State Thruway/Route 90 East to Exit 39 then take 690 East. If you are coming from the east, take the Thruway to Exit 34A to Route 481 and then to Route 690. From north or south, use Interstate 81 to get to Route 690. One of the best things about the Expo Center and the fairgrounds is that there is capacity for over 23,000 automobiles. The cost of parking is reasonable and shuttles are provided for those people who park in the upper lots. You can also register your RV and stay overnight for a fee but there are no public facilities provided specifically for them.
Lodging near New York State Fair
There are two hotels right by the fairgrounds—the Maplewood Inn at 400 Seventh North Street and the Inn at the Fairgrounds at 670 State Fair Boulevard. There is also a wide variety of guest accommodations to the east in Syracuse proper. Whether you are looking for a campsite, a budget motel, or something on the nicer end of the spectrum, you will be sure to find something that suits your tastes. This part of New York is particularly breathtaking and offers many opportunities for camping, hiking, and lots of other outdoor activities.