Assemblyman Stirpe: After a Year’s Absence, New York State Fair Triumphantly Returns – with Precautions

The New York State Fair, one of the many cherished events that was sadly cancelled last year due to safety concerns during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, will finally be returning this year! The fair, which runs from Aug. 20 through Sept. 6, brings guests and considerable amounts of revenue to Central New York. This year’s return will provide a much-needed boost to our hardworking small-business owners as well as a fun-filled escape for New Yorkers.

To maintain a safe environment for both guests and vendors this year, several COVID precautions will be in place at the fair. All guests must wear masks while indoors regardless of vaccination status, and guests are encouraged to wear masks in crowded outdoor areas as well. Unvaccinated guests are required to wear masks at all times. Additionally, guests should continue hand-washing frequently and should carefully monitor themselves and members of their groups for COVID symptoms following their return home. Safety guidelines are being updated regularly, so those planning to visit the fair should frequently check the fair website at and the Onondaga County website’s COVID-19 page at

While guests should remain vigilant about protecting themselves and their families from COVID-19, this should not diminish their enjoyment of the fair and the events and activities that will be offered. The Chevy Court and Chevy Park Concerts, both longtime mainstays of the fair, will feature a diverse lineup of talent, entertainment and musical acts.[1] The concerts will take place over all 18 days of the fair and are free to all fairgoers as a part of the $3 admission fee.[2]

The New York State Fair’s competitions demonstrate the determined spirit of New Yorkers, and each year, thousands of participants throw their hats into the ring to showcase their animals, photography, dairy products and more. While not all of the categories typically featured at the fair will appear this year, fairgoers can rest assured that they will return in 2022.[3]

In addition to the $3 admission fee, vehicle and motorcycle parking is available online for $5. E-Z Pass Plus will be accepted in the Brown and Orange lots. A free shuttle service provided by Centro will also be running to the main gate until midnight, and require all passengers to wear masks. Pickups from the Orange lot begin at 10 a.m. and pickups from the Willis Ave. lot begin at 3 p.m. There will be no cash sales for tickets, and it is recommended that guests purchase online in advance. Guests are encouraged to plan their trips using the fair’s website, which features a schedule with dates and times for hay bale throwing contests, animal shows and milking parlor observations. The schedule can be found at

As usual, several days at the fair are marked as “Special Days,” where certain demographics and events are celebrated:

  • Monday, Aug. 23, is Fire & Rescue Day, with free admission to any active or retired member of a fire department or emergency services organization who has a photo ID from that organization.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 25, is St. Joseph’s Health Women’s Day, featuring $1 admission for women of all ages.
  • Thursday, Aug. 26, is Dairy Day, where fairgoers celebrate dairy farmers, their livestock and their products.
  • Friday, Aug. 27, is Pride Day. The New York State Fair is the first state fair in America to host an official Pride Day to celebrate the LGBTQ community, including a flag-raising event at 10:30 a.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 30, is Law Enforcement Day. The fair honors the men and women of law enforcement in New York State with free admission to any active or retired law enforcement or corrections personnel.
  • Thursday, Sept. 2, is Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Day. The fair celebrates the men and women of the military with free admission to any active duty or veteran with military identification.
  • Friday, Sept. 3, is Native Americans Day. The fair honors all members of Native American tribes with free admission through Gate 4.
  • Monday, Sept. 6, is Labor Day. Supporters of the working men and women who make America strong will march to the Expo Center for a Labor Day rally at Chevy Court.

More information on Special Days and events can be found at

While this year’s State Fair may look and feel slightly different, the amount of fun it delivers to New Yorkers won’t change at all. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 315-452-1115 or