SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – “The fair must go on,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo as he announced the return of the New York State Fair.
“The fair will be open, mark it on your calendar, start to plan to buy tickets and vendors start to get ready,” he said while at the fairgrounds near Syracuse Monday.
This year the New York State Fair–which draws in over one million attendants every year and generates over $100 million for the state–will return to central New York after a hiatus due to the pandemic.
“It may look a little bit different than it did in 2019, but make no mistake–we’re back,” said New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, who was alongside Cuomo as he announced the return of the 18-day event.
This summer, it will run from August 20 to September 6 at a tentative 50% capacity. Along with that, it will be separated into four sectors: food and drink, agriculture, concerts, and rides and amusement. These sectors will be in designated areas of the fairgrounds for better control of attendance.
Ball said it may not be the same fair we all know and love, but it’s a step toward restoring normalcy here in central New York and across the state.
“We can look forward to the sights, the sounds, the smells and the tastes once again at the New York Fair,” said Ball.
Cuomo said the state does not plan to make vaccinations mandatory to attend and that, while the fair will happen, all plans are all subject to change depending on the state’s COVID-19 positivity rates and vaccination rates.
In addition to this announcement, Cuomo increased capacity for some businesses across upstate New York. Outdoor stadiums can increase capacity from 20% to 30%, offices from 50% to 75%, casinos from 25% to 50% and gyms from 33% to 50%.
“So the arrows are all pointed in the right direction,” said Cuomo. “We just have to keep the arrows pointed in the right direction.”