While the Fair has always been a family-focused event, this year there are a few new attractions that cater particularly to the adults-only crowd.
Visitors of drinking age can hop on board the Big Yellow Fellow, a 10-person bicycle tour of the fairgrounds with samples of local wine and beers along the way. Then, they can get their fix of classic fair food at the Bloody Mary Bar at Empire Patio, which features chicken spiedies, sausage, salt potatoes, New York cheddar, and chicken wings as some of the skewer garnish options for the classic vodka drink.
And don’t forget to look good while you’re doing it. Stylists Kellie Gingold and Scott Dunseath from local clothing retailers Showoffs Boutique will be prowling the fairgrounds for attendees who want a fashion makeover.
“I always say people should feel good from the outside in,” Gingold said. “People think fashion, it must be frivolous. But when you leave in the morning and you have a great hair day or a great outfit and it puts that extra spring in your step, I think it just sets the tone of your day.”
Gingold didn’t say how many makeovers would take place, but the numbers of willing participants are sure to be high: 25% of women say they’ll change their hairstyle just to “reinvent” themselves.
The new initiatives reflect a growing trend to attract bigger and more diverse crowds to the Fair.
“Every year, it’s always a struggle,” said Troy Waffner, the Fair’s acting director. “You have traditionals, [and] you have people who call and tell us they won’t to come to the fair because nothing changes. This year, we’re trying to satisfy both of those. We certainly had big changes, but we kept the staples of Gianelli sausage, the glass of milk, the dollar baked potato.”
The New York State Fair runs through Monday, September 5 at the fairgrounds in Syracuse.