GEDDES — After a COVID-induced hiatus, the New York State Fair is back.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited central New York on Monday to announce that the 18-day state fair will be held this year. It was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic — the first year without a state fair since World War II.
“The fair must go on,” Cuomo said at the New York State Fairgrounds.
The state fair will open Aug. 20 and run through Labor Day, Sept. 6. It will operate at 50% capacity — the fair’s capacity is 100,000 people, according to State Fair Director Troy Waffner — and the grounds will have separate outdoor areas for agriculture, concerts, food and rides. Tickets will be sold for each area.
The concert areas at the fairgrounds will be subject to the state’s COVID-19 guidelines for music venues. The fair has already announced five performers for this year’s event, including Dropkick Murphys, The Oak Ridge Boys and REO Speedwagon.
The plans for the fair are preliminary and could change. Cuomo explained that if the state’s COVID-19 situation continues to improve, the capacity could increase.
Waffner said there will be tickets available, but the state fair is finalizing the plan for how those will be issued. Some venues have adopted a timed-entry system to control the size of crowds. The state fair drew more than 1.3 million visitors in 2019, including 147,749 in one day.