July 26, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Largest Midway in Great New York State Fair History

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Largest Midway in...

15 Acre Midway Advances $50 Million State Fair Revitalization

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Wade Shows Midway at the 2016 Great New York State Fair will be the largest in Fair history as a result of the $50 million project to revitalize the Fairgrounds. The improved 15 acre Midway will offer at least 70 rides, many of them new to the Fair, and feature wider and safer aisles as well as more covered seating areas.

“The Great New York State Fair is an Empire State tradition, as well as a major economic driver for Central New York, and this year is poised to be the best yet,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this unprecedented state investment, the Fair now has an improved Midway to host more rides and entertainment options, as well as attract other major events that will generate economic activity in the region year-round."

The new rides at the Midway include one of the largest travelling rollercoasters in the country, a new Ferris Wheel, and many thrill rides with new LED lighting. As part of the revitalization, the Midway relocated most of its electrical services underground to offer far fewer obstructions for people pushing strollers or using wheelchairs or walkers. The Midway was paved using special, heavy-duty asphalt designed to stand up to the extreme weight of large rides such as a roller coaster, which arrives in more than a dozen tractor trailers and can weigh as much as 175 tons.

Earlier this month, the Syracuse Nationals Classic Car Show used the new Midway for the first time, featuring approximately 8,000 cars. Nationals organizers are already considering ways to use the larger space to help their show attract more exhibitors and visitors.

The Midway is a major contributor to the Great New York State Fair’s operating budget. In 2015, the Midway generated a record $1,544,506 in revenues for the Fair. Officials expect a larger Midway with more rides to generate increased income.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "We appreciate Governor Cuomo's investment in the New York State Fair. The expanded midway brings new rides and more room which improves the experience for everyone. The New York State Fair is a tremendous event and the improvements to the fairgrounds will increase the economic impact it has on our region."

Acting New York State Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “The change in our Midway is dramatic and the Fair has worked hard with Wade Shows to maximize the use of this new space. I know that fans of rides of all kinds will find new ways to have a thrilling time at this year’s Fair.”

Frank Zaitshik, Wade Shows CEO, said, “We are delighted to be bringing the most guest-friendly midway yet to the Great New York State Fair. With the investment from the state in the grounds and our world-class guest amenities plus several exciting new rides, the Midway will look more like an amusement park than ever before.”

Advance sale purchases of Wade Shows Midway discount ride packages and discounted tickets for Fair admission can be made at the Fair’s official online ticket seller or at the Wade Shows website.

Central NY Rising

Today's announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested nearly $3 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.​

The New York State Fair

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5, 2016. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "Find Your Great," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gate— the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation. Renderings can be viewed here.

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair. New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair to statefairideas@agriculture.ny.gov. For more information about the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, visit their website.

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