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$50 million transformation of Empire State fairgrounds

Staff writer |
Substantial construction progress has been made on the sweeping $50 million transformation of the State Fairgrounds in Onondaga County.

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Following a tour of the Fairgrounds, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled a new date stone in the redesigned Main Entry Gate honoring the history of the nation’s first state fair – one of many components of the plan underway to build the Fairgrounds into a year-round, premier multi-use facility.

The Governor additionally announced the launch of the State Fairgrounds Privatization Task Force to evaluate options to maximize the State’s historic investment and grow the region’s economy.

“The State Fair is a central part of New York’s history, and an annual showcase of all that our state has to offer. Whether it's agricultural competitions, state-of-the-art technology exhibits, or live performances, the State Fair is where we show off the best of New York,” Governor Cuomo said.

“Each year we strive to make the New York State Fair better than before, and with this investment we are reimagining the fair to ensure it remains a major economic engine for generations to come.”

The $50 million plan to redesign the State Fairgrounds, announced by Governor Cuomo last fall, includes a larger 15-acre Midway that will feature new rides, attractions and improves the visitor experience with cell phone charging stations and resting areas.

The redesign plan also includes a 315-site RV park, 15 acres of flexible park space, and various parking and pedestrian safety improvements.

Construction of the State Fairgrounds’ new RV park, expanded Midway and 15 acres of flexible park space is on track to completion in time for the Syracuse Nationals Car Show in July and the 2016 Great New York State Fair opening day on August 25.

The date stones embedded in the Fairgrounds' new arched Main Entry Gate specially honor the history of New York's role hosting the first-ever state fair. The stones are dated 1840 – the date on the original carriage entrance arch built in 1900 – and 2016.

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