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New York State Fair sets overall, single-day attendance records

By Eric Reinhardt

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The main gate at the New York State Fair in Geddes, which set an overall attendance record of more than 1.16 million during the 2017 Fair’s 13-day run, eclipsing the more than 1.1 million who attended the 12-day, 2016 Fair. The event also drew 124,819 on Labor Day, representing a single-day attendance record as well. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo)

GEDDES, N.Y. — More than 1.16 million people attended the New York State Fair in Geddes during its 13-day run, setting a new attendance record.

The 2017 attendance mark was up 44,282 from 2016, when the Fair was 12 days long, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release issued Monday night.

The final day of the Fair on Labor Day drew 124,819 people, a new single-day record. The 2017 Fair set four daily attendance records, Cuomo’s office said.

Besides attendance, the State Fair also set sales records for two of its “signature” food items — baked potatoes and milk.

Through day 12 on Sunday, the baked-potato booth sold 59,946 white and sweet potatoes, eclipsing a two-year-old record, according to the release.

The milk bar, which the Fair operated directly for the first time, sold more than 420,000 cups of white and chocolate milk by midday Monday.

With Monday’s final show from Kool & The Gang, the Fair’s Chevy Court concert venue attracted more than a quarter million people for its concerts. The venue drew large crowds for the hip hop trio Migos; Rock & Roll Hall of Fame soul group Earth Wind & Fire; pop pioneers the Beach Boys; and southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The New York State Fair is the fourth largest state fair in the country, according to Cuomo’s office.

The 2017 Fair was the second since the implementation of Cuomo’s $50 million plan to “revitalize” the nation’s oldest state fair.

The work at the Fairgrounds in the town of Geddes has included a new main gate; a recreational-vehicle park that supports both the Fair and its year-round facilities rental business; and large, open spaces that allow for expanded Fair programming and larger events on the grounds year-round.

The second, $70 million phase of renovations, to begin later this year, involves building a 133,000-square foot expo center that can host many types of major events.

It will be the largest event space between Boston and Cleveland, Cuomo’s office contends.

“Significant” upgrades are also planned for the Fair’s parking lot as well.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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