MA Residents: Head West To Central NY For The BEST Fair Experience!
Forget about The Big E. Our friends in Columbia and Rensselear counties can relate to this article and for all those in The Berkshires and throughout the Bay State, take note: My vote for the BEST exposition is located west of us in Syracuse, New York as my annual pilgrimage to The GREAT New York State Fair is an annual ritual. My personal nickname: "The Grand Daddy Of Them ALL". Yes, it takes me about 5 hours (I include stops in my itinerary), but the end result is magical and phenomenal in nature. After all, this has been a tradition of being there front row and center since 1989.
And this time around I'm bringing "my little bro", "The Ry Guy" for his very first visit to this yearly excursion.
By all means, we will indulge in that AWESOME fair food as he will truly bring his voracious appetite to central New York. I plan to take him to The Wegman's cooking demonstrations and he will have the BEST sausage and pepper sandwich on the planet, coupled with a traditional Greek gyro for dinner. Plus, how can you beat the traditional baked potato with sour cream for ONLY $1....BEST deal in town! Snacks include the classic Pizza Frite (fried dough with a taste of Italy) and that soft serve ice cream is well worth the trip out west (2 cones for $5) with a 25-cent cup of chocolate milk and he will see his VERY FIRST butter sculpture while visiting the dairy building.
The exhibits will truly fascinate him including this special trip down to memory lane: A display preserving some artifacts from the vintage RKO Keith's Theater in Syracuse and downstairs in The Empire Theater, a priceless 1925 Wurlitzer pipe organ remains intact, however, officials want this antique removed from the property and the reason is unknown as this classic instrument has been in the property since 1967. Its keeper, a lovely woman named Geraldine Speck will treat us to an exclusive mini-concert as a campaign to keep the organ in its proper place is ongoing. Hopefully, we have some optimistic news regarding this sensitive and delicate matter as this vintage instrument should remain intact.
The Horticultural Building has a plethora of floral and agricultural-based exhibits and the brand new Exposition Center is a mandatory stop. This year, an army of dinosaurs have taken shelter at that locale. One of the fair's highlights is a visit to Indian Village as you can learn about the cultures of various upstate New York tribes and they also perform a dancing ritual on the big stage showcasing their customs which is not only entertaining but informative in nature.
Don't forget the LIVE shows from local and national performers plus an array of animal exhibits await you, so pick up a program upon entry to plan your day. As for rides on the midway, you are on your own for that one, little brother!
Let's not forget the FREE concerts at Chevy Court. So far, this year's line-up will NOT disappoint. Here is who will take center stage while we are in house:
The highlight is on Tuesday night when Bret Michaels (the lead singer of Poison) will perform to a packed house. Earlier, the legendary Tommy James will bring back his 60s hits with the Shondells and on Monday, Peter Noone (Herman from Herman's Hermits) brings us some LIVE vintage British invasion SOLID GOLD!
"The Grand Daddy of Them All" lives up to its name. The New York State Fair runs consecutively until September 4th (Labor Day). Gates open at 9am. For more details on ordering admission tickets, log to their web site. Bay State residents are conditioned to attend the Big E, but trust me, you will find this experience a lot more rewarding and there is more terrain to cover with room to walk around on these historic grounds as this extravaganza has been in existence since 1841.
(Photo image courtesy of www.classicnewyorkhistory.com)
Once again, this article is dedicated to the memory of the late GREAT Joe La Guardia, who was the quintessential Promotions Manager as I was PROUD to know him and he was very accommodating to me during the good ol' days as The Fair was a well-oiled machine during his tenure in the Salt City. He is sorely missed for sure!
BOTTOM LINE: You need to attend this extravaganza at least once in your life.
(Photos of Bret Michaels, Tommy James and Peter Noone courtesy of their Facebook pages)
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