Geddes, N.Y. – The 2018 New York State Fair is over, and the planning for 2019 has already begun.
What do you think would make next year’s fair better? From food vendors to garbage removal to live music to the new Expo Center – how could the fair continue to improve?
As you might imagine, the fair staff hears many suggestions and complaints from fairgoers during the 13-day festival. And the fair takes those comments seriously, spokesman Dave Bullard said.
So here’s your chance to add to the list. What’s missing at the fair? What would you like to see more or less of 2019?
We’ve got a few ideas to start you off, from listening to your comments at the fair and on the fair’s Facebook page. And even the fair director himself has weighed in.
Please add to the conversation in the comments below:
Two days after the 2018 fair closed, Fair Director Troy Waffner put out this request: What’s the next big thing you want to see inside the new Exposition Center. Another ice rink? An indoor roller coaster? Dinosaur skeletons? Think big, people.
Expand the menu
Waffner also wants to know: What foods are missing at the fair? What would you like to see more of?
We’ve got one suggestion – more vegan options. The long lines at Strong Hearts Cafe prove plant-based foods are popular. Maybe it’s time for more.
More food samples
The $1 servings of Bang Bang Cauliflower and the $3 samples during the two-day food truck competition are popular. As are the $1 food offerings on Labor Day from the few vendors who choose to participate.
Even more dollar-size or small-portion size dishes would be great. The small portions would let more people taste more items – and possibly encourage fairgoers to return for a full-sized meal.
More water stations, with maps pointing out exact location
The new water stations are a welcome improvement. Still, they are only in some buildings: Horticulture, Center of Progress, International, Colosseum, Expo Center and Dairy Cattle. Even more free water options – with easy access to Kiddie Land, the Midway and Chevy Court – would be even better.
What was the best Chevy Court concert of 2018?
More shade and action near the Experience Stage
Yes, the Experience Stage on the West End of the fair has live music several times a day. It’s home to Latino Village Weekend. It’s got a huge lawn and a free ride.
But for now, there’s little else to make that end of the fair a destination to veteran fairgoers who tend to make repeat trips to the Midway, the animal buildings and Chevy Court. And that’s a shame, because it’s a lovely, non-paved area just waiting for picnics, lawn games and more.
Waffner says there are more ideas for this area – including more trees and possibly a full-service restaurant. What else would help this end of the fair?
Talk about ticket prices
No one is complaining about the $1 tickets (on opening day and Labor Day), the $3 tickets (on the two Thursdays), the $6 pre-sale tickets or the numerous free days for seniors, servicemembers, veterans and others. (You can get into the fair, for free, if you bring a current fishing license.)
But – does the fair still need a $10 ticket for the nine remaining days? With 1,279,010 people coming, it’s worth discussing.
Talk about Centro’s Park-N-Ride
The bus rides to the fair get thousands of people right to the front gate. It’s a system that helps alleviate traffic, which can turn Interstate 690 into another, unwanted parking lot.
But for bigger families, the bus math doesn’t always add up, as a few fairgoers pointed out on Facebook.
Fair parking is $5. That equals bus rides for two adults and two kids from ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt, so long as one kid is 5 or younger and the other is under 10. For bigger families with older kids, the parking option is often the cheaper one. Perhaps cheaper ride options for kids or family packages?
What did you think of the new Orange Lot?
Bring back the Footsie Wootsies
For the sake of fairgoers’ feet and YouTube videos that could go viral, some fairgoers want to see the return of the popular massage gadgets. Fair spokesman Dave Bullard said the vendor chose not to return this year. Alas.
But there’s always hope for 2019. Next year’s fair runs Aug. 21 to Sept. 2.
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