Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Great New York State Fair Begins Thursday

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Great New York State Fair Begins Thursday
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The Great New York State Fair is about to mark its 168th year. But no matter how many times you've walked through the gates, there's always something new to see. Reporter Sarah Blazonis has a look at what you can expect this time around.

STATE FAIRGROUNDS -- With just days to go, excitement builds as preparations wind down.

"Everything's coming together, the construction projects are buttoned up, the vendors are moving in, we're getting everyone hooked up," said Troy Waffner, the NYS Fair acting director.

But look closer at some favorite attractions and you'll notice something different. A new company has taken over the Midway for the first time in decades.

Wade Shows is bringing more than 60 rides to the fair, including two of the three tallest traveling coasters and the largest traveling slide in the U.S.

"We're excited about our line-up. All our concessions are color-coded, the midways are wider, we've got rides that have never been here before," said Frank Zaitshik, the Wade Shows owner.

Officials said a goal of the fair, as always, is to get people better acquainted with the state's agriculture.

The Dairy Cow Birthing Center is one exhibit that does just that and has some changes coming for its second year.

"It was extremely popular. In fact, we quickly outgrew our space last year, so we increased the tent size 40 percent. We've doubled the seating capacity in here to 700 people we can accommodate sitting down," said Jessica Ziehm from the Dairy Cow Birthing Center.

Another old favorite, Safety Town, got a makeover, with updated, interactive displays to teach families about fire safety.

The Great Shipwrecks exhibit is completely new,.

"We really tried to pick different ones to really raise awareness with folks about the different maritime history of New York, whether it be a schooner, a bateau," said Dave White, NY Sea Grant.

And while a lot may be new, there's still plenty of traditional fair fun crowds have come to expect.

Officials said they've also added seating, misting stations, and cell phone charging areas to make visitors' fair experience more comfortable.

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