The 2022 Great New York State Fair now underway
GEDDES — Fairgoers strapped on their sandals and fanny packs on Wednesday to browse the attractions within the over 300-acre New York State Fairground Complex in Geddess for opening day of the 2022 Great New York State Fair.
The annual extravaganza, featuring a variety of demonstrations, greasy foods, midway rides, free shows, cultures, exhibits, and more, will take place over a 13-day span this year, ending on Labor Day.
Returning to the grounds feels much the same if you’re a local who’s frequented the fair each year since childhood. While the tradition was stopped in its tracks in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it returned under an air of trepidation the following year on the heels of recently distributed COVID-19 vaccinations. Crowds were fewer and masks were plenty then. This year, masks all but sprinkled the crowd, but how big the crowds will be is yet to be seen.
Whether there was a jubilant line at the gates for the grand opening, I don’t know, but within the first hours following, both parking and entry were a breeze. Once inside, attendants knew exactly what was worth waiting for — the state fair’s famous 25 cent milk, and the $1 baked potato customized with toppings.
It would take an effort to feel bored while visiting. Given that the visitor map unfolds to the length of a toddler, there is plenty of information available front and back regarding daily entertainment and special events. Some favorites are returning, like Sea Lion Splash. If events aren’t your style, there are wine slushies and creative cocktails — designated throughout the grounds by giant, flashy signs — waiting to induce your amusement. Picking what to eat could be an endless debate with rows and rows of vendors both outside and within buildings.
There’s the midway, too, with games and rides you’ll want to visit before eating.
Walking inside the interactive butterfly exhibit in the horticulture building was a personal highlight of my brief pass through the fairgrounds.
At $3 a ticket to get in (and $5 parking), the 2022 Great New York State Fair is a budget-friendly attraction fit for the whole family.
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