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OPINION: The Great New York State Fair is Back for 2023

By Will Barclay


One of the most-anticipated events of the year, the New York State Fair, opened on Aug. 23 in Syracuse and runs through Sept. 4. The annual Central New York tradition features exciting new acts and exhibits, and this year’s fair is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for all ages.

For more than a century, the State Fair has stood as a testament to the cultural and agricultural heritage of New York, showcasing the best the Empire State has to offer. Since its grand opening in 1841, it has become one of the area’s greatest attractions. The fair is one of the largest in the country, draws visitors from throughout the northeast, and captivates audiences with a blend of entertainment and community spirit.

Year after year, the New York State Fair offers diverse attractions designed to cater to visitors of all ages. The offerings include a wide variety of foods and beverages, as well as numerous engaging competitions for attendees to participate in. As a lifelong resident of Central New York, I’m proud that fairgoers can experience a taste of this area and experience the great products our family farms provide every year.

The festivities started with the 4-H Youth Horse Show and the Annual Dog Show on Aug. 23 at 9 a.m. Throughout a Fair day, attendees can visit demonstrations like the underwater recovery team, run by the New York State Police Exhibit, the Dinosaur Expedition, magic shows, rooster-crowing competition, and so much more. The entertainment options are endless. For those looking to plan their fair experience, a detailed calendar of events can be accessed at:

 Families are in for a treat with a dedicated kid’s zone, games, and educational exhibits that are designed to engage younger generations. Exhibits include arts and crafts, a dinosaur expedition, and a historic train exhibit. The fair is committed to providing a quality and wholesome experience for all.

There is a multitude of concerts and world-class entertainers that span music, dance, comedy, and more. During the 13-day schedule, more than 50 performers will take the stage at Suburban Park and Chevy Court concerts. Some of the featured artists this year include Salt-N-Peppa, REO Speedwagon, Bell Biv Devoe, Chubby Checker, The Fray, and Foghat. 

The Great New York State Fair never disappoints. And I want to recognize and thank all the staff, volunteers, and participants who really make this event what it is. The fair has grown in size, scope, and popularity year after year, and it’s the people who dedicated so much of their time and energy who have made it a success. For information about the 2023 Great New York State Fair — from ticket sales, to schedules, and exhibits — please visit the fair’s website at        

William (Will) A. Barclay, 54, Republican, is the New York Assembly minority leader and represents the 120th New York Assembly District, which encompasses all of Oswego County, as well as parts of Jefferson and Cayuga counties.