Governor Cuomo announced on Monday that the Great New York State Fair concluded a successful year by breaking two records on its final day.
Labor Day attendance of 124,819 not only set the record for the most people to come to the Fair on a single day, it also drove the Fair to an all-time annual attendance record of 1,161,912 people who came to the Fair over its 13-day run, which ended Monday night.
During this year’s run, the Fair set four daily attendance records, including breaking the record for the largest single-day audience ever twice, as well as the annual attendance record. The Fair is the fourth largest state fair in the country.
“The Fair is a great New York tradition that is enjoying a renaissance thanks to our investments in the grounds and the strength of its programming,” Governor Cuomo said. “These investments are paying off in growing numbers of people, which in turn will continue to help Central New York’s economy continue to rise.”
The 2017 attendance is 44,282 larger than the 1,117,630 total from 2016, when the Fair was 12 days long. The Fair also set records for sales of its two signature food items – baked potatoes and milk. Through day 12 on Sunday, the Great Baked Potato Booth sold 59,946 white and sweet potatoes with all the fixings, eclipsing a two-year-old record. And the Milk Bar, operated for the first time directly by the Fair, sold more than 420,000 cups of white and chocolate milk by midday today, a record amount for the year.
With tonight’s final show from Kool & The Gang, the Fair’s Chevy Court concert venue attracted more than a quarter million people for its largest roster of national touring shows ever, highlighted by massive crowds for the hip hop trio Migos, Rock Hall of Fame soul group Earth Wind & Fire, pop pioneers The Beach Boys and southern rock superstars Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Fair and its vendors presented more than 550 free musical performances this year, a record amount.
This is the second Fair since the implementation of Governor Cuomo’s $50 million plan to revitalize the nation’s oldest state fair. The fairgrounds in the town of Geddes received a beautiful new Main Gate, an RV park that supports both the Fair and its year-round facilities rental business, and large, open spaces that allow for expanded Fair programming and larger events on the grounds year-round. The second, $70 million phase of renovations, to begin later this year, involves building a 133,000-square foot expo center that can host many types of major events. It will be the largest event space between Boston and Cleveland. The Fair’s parking lot will receive significant upgrades as well.