New Supervised and Air-Conditioned Centers will Provide Privacy and Comfort
Improved Visitor Experience to Drive Fair Attendance and Support Central New York Rising Plan for Economic Growth
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the 2017 Great New York State Fair will feature new Baby Care Centers, providing families with a comfortable, supervised and air-conditioned place to care for their children. Each Baby Care Center has private space for nursing mothers, as well as a clean, staffed area where parents can change diapers or relax with their small children. The four Baby Care Centers will be placed around the Fairgrounds to allow quick and convenient access for parents.
"We are committed to enhancing every aspect of the Fair experience and these Baby Care Centers will provide additional comfort and peace of mind to parents taking part in this great New York tradition," Governor Cuomo said. "Our unprecedented investment in promoting the Fair in Central New York helps drive attendance, fueling the local economy and spurring tourism – allowing this region to grow and thrive for years to come."
The buildings are attractive and welcoming, with comfortable seating and dormers to provide natural light. The Amish Structures company, based in Manlius, built the 20-foot A-frame structures. Carpenters from the New York State Fair are fitting up the interior, and grounds crews are landscaping the exterior. The buildings will also be available for rent to the private firms that host large-scale events on the Fairgrounds during the year.
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "The Baby Care Centers are a welcome addition and will support not only the Fair but also special events at the Fairgrounds that draw large crowds. It’s one more reason to come to the fairgrounds. Whether we’re talking about big new initiatives or smaller improvements that enhance the fairgoer’s experience, it’s clear that Governor Cuomo’s reinvention of the Fair is paying great dividends to the entire region and will provide even greater growth in the years ahead."
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "The Governor’s vision for the Fair focuses on making enhancements to the grounds that will improve the fairgoer experience. These new Baby Centers are a welcome addition to the Fair, providing a great new amenity for families with young children and complementing the work that’s been done already to take the Fair to the next level."
Jen Deshaies, La Leche League of Liverpool Leader, said, "La Leche League of Syracuse is honored to participate in the coordination of the nursing stations throughout the fairgrounds. Providing comfortable places for families to feed their children is a welcomed addition to the NYS Fair."
Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, "We’re excited to be able to provide this service to families of young children. It will make it easier for families to enjoy their day at the Fair and it is one more way that we are responding to the needs of our fairgoers."
The new Baby Care Centers are part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to improve access and amenities for all fairgoers. Some of the other elements include improving access to buildings for people with mobility issues, adding seating and shade throughout the grounds, and providing interpreters for Fair events and concerts. The Fair’s leadership meets regularly with interest groups to solicit feedback and suggestions for improvements.
The project builds on several years of major improvements at the Fairgrounds, the home of the nation’s oldest state fair. The improvements began with Governor Cuomo’s investment of $50 million, which resulted in a new Main Gate, first-ever RV park, a new home for the Midway and many other enhancements that powered the Fair to record attendance in 2016.
For 2017, the Baby Care Centers are a part of additional planned improvements, including a new and larger home for the New York State Police exhibit, a revitalized Turtle Mound stage and other improvements in the Indian Village, and a new sky ride along the Wade Shows Midway. Another $50 million in improvements has been proposed in Governor Cuomo’s 2017-18 Budget. Additional investment from the Governor’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative will help expand and reshape the Fair’s main parking lot for the 2018 Fair.
Accelerating 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, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 23 to September 4, 2017. 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 home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. 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, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at [email protected].