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New York State Fair Preview Guide: What You Need to Know
Wednesday, Aug. 23, is the opening day of the New York State Fair, which continues through Labor Day, Sept. 4. Whether you are a seasoned fairgoer or if this is your first time, we have put together a guide of everything you need to know.
The New York State Fair’s hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, except for Labor Day, when it’ll close at 9 p.m.
Tickets and Parking
Admission to the fair is $6, and free for those who are 65 years old and older or children 12 years old and younger. New this year, a frequent fairgoer pass is available for $20, which is geared toward those who are planning to be at the fair at least four or more days.
There are three ways to purchase tickets:
- Online: Via com
- Over the phone: By calling Etix toll-free at 1.800.514.3849 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday
- At the gate: Kiosks positioned at all gates will be used for electronic ticket purchases. Large signs featuring QR codes will direct fairgoers to the Fair’s website to purchase tickets.
There is special admission on certain days, including:
- Student Youth Day (Thursday, Aug. 24): Youth and students, ages 18 years old and younger, will receive free admission. In some cases, they may be asked for photo identification to verify their birthday.
- Law Enforcement Day (Monday, Aug. 28): Those who are active and retired members of police and/or corrections departments—paid and volunteer—will receive free admission with photo identification on law enforcement day.
- Fire and Rescue Day (Tuesday, Aug. 29): Those who are active and retired members of fire departments or emergency medical services organizations—paid and volunteer—will receive free admission with photo identification on fire and rescue day.
- Armed Forces Day (Thursday, Aug. 31): All members of the military—active duty and veteran—will receive free admission with proper military identification (Military ID card, form DD-214 or a government issued I.D. with a veteran designation) on armed forces day.
- Native Americans Day (Friday, Sept. 1): All people who identify as Native American will receive free admission.
Parking tickets may be purchased for $10 in several ways, including the following:
- Online in advance through Etix. On the day(s) you visit, you may show your ticket to parking attendants electronically on your phone or show a printed copy.
- In the orange and brown lots, parking may also be paid for using E-ZPass Plus.
- In-person in the parking lots using a debit or credit card. Note, there are no cash sales at the entrances or in parking lots.
For directions and a parking map, visit this New York State Fairgrounds webpage.
There are three Centro bus park-and-ride locations, with the downtown Centro hub and Destiny USA being the closest to campus. Those buses will run directly to the fair from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the cost is $1 each way.
Visit the University’s campus shuttle webpage for information on Centro buses that stop at the Centro hub and Destiny USA. The University is also providing free shuttles from campus to the Fair over Labor Day weekend.
One of the staples of the fair is all the tasty treats for visitors to enjoy. Fairgoers will have 114 different food and drink vendors to choose from this year, which is up slightly from last year. There are plenty of delicious staples to try, including Basilio Italian Sausage, Beak & Skiff Apple Farms Inc., Bold Coast Lobster Co., Bosco’s at The Fair, Ma & Pa’s Kettle Corn and Lemonade, Roasted Corn, The Spud Shack, Toss & Fire Wood-Fired Pizza and many more. A full list a food and exhibitors is available on the fair website.
Live Entertainment and Attractions
Included with your admission to the fair is access to many different forms of live entertainment. Whether it is live music, street performances, a circus, pig races, sea lion show or daily parades, there is something for everyone. You can easily plan your trip in advance with the full listing of attractions and exhibitions on the fair website.
Finally, don’t forget to check out the midway, which is full of various rides and games for visitors of all ages to enjoy. For details about ride tickets, visit the New York State Fair website.