On one-year anniversary of becoming governor, Hochul announces new improvements to State Fair

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Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during opening day of the New York State Fair near Syracuse. (Darren McGee / Office Of The Governor)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrated the one year anniversary of becoming governor Wednesday at the New York State Fair near Syracuse. Hochul used Governor’s Day at the Fair to announce new state investments at the fairgrounds.

“The fair is back and I’m so excited to be here!,” said Hochul at the State Fair Wednesday.

This is the first fully operational fair since 2019, and Hochul used the occasion to announce the start of the latest phase of fair improvements. The state will pump almost $35 million into the fairgrounds and is highlighted by a 1.5 acre greenhouse. There will also be new show spaces for goats, a new sheep barn and wool center and a new horse barn.

Hochul said the state is committed to these projects, and will coincide with other fair initiatives.

“Ramp up our marketing campaign to draw more activities to bring more people and create stimulus for economic development, not just the 13 days of the fair, but to use it the rest of the year to bring all kinds of shows here,” said Hochul. “So I look at is a 365 day resource for us, and I think there’s more creativity we can bring to bear to enhance it.”

Hochul said the state is committed to these projects, even though the fair is in the midst of a $1 million operating deficit brought on by the pandemic.

“It may not necessarily be a money maker for us, but you have to do it. It’s part of our identity,” she said. “So we’ll work out the finances, but there will never be a barrier to make sure this facility, this experience that is unique, continues. And there are economic spinoffs.”

The improvements also include a new concessions building and restaurant row streetscape improvement. During the height of the pandemic in 2020, the fair was shut down for the first time since World War II and last year partially reopened. This year all buildings are open.

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