Every time my parents are in town from Missouri, I feel like I want to show them all that New York and the area around us has to offer. Trouble is, there's so much around here to do! Thankfully, their most recent visit overlapped with the New York State Fair, which was a perfect opportunity to show them some of the best of the best in the Empire State!
We loaded up Colt and made the drive to Syracuse. Brett & I've only been there once since we've lived here and I actually forgot about how long of a trip it is. Factor in feeding a baby and it seemed like it took forever to get there! The only downfall to the Fair being in Syracuse is about $13 in tolls we had to pay going on the Thruway. If you don't have Easy Pass, be sure to keep some extra cash on ya when making the trip. The trip was easy to make, they even have permanent signs directing you to the fairgrounds. It wasn't long before we were parked, on the shuttle bus and inside the gate to check things out.
The first thing we saw when walking in was a table set up for kid tags. Being a new parent and all, I had to check it out. Free information tags were provided to pin/tie to your kid in case they were separated or lost from their parents. Colt wasn't really going anywhere in his stroller without us, but what a great idea!
Growing up, my parents took me and my brother to the Mid-South Fair in Memphis several times. I remember seeing all the exhibits and riding the rides and how much fun it was as a child...and riding a camel. Probably because the camel's hair was scratchy on my legs. Funny how things stick with you over time? Turns out, fairs can be fun for adults too!
We saw tons of exhibits and booths. One of the most impressive sights was the giant sand sculpture! It was a huge mountain of sand that showcased the Olympics. I can't imagine how many man hours went into putting that thing together! It was such a work of art from all sides!
One of my favorite things at the Fair, whether State or County, are always the exhibits of quilts. I really enjoy trying to sew and have so much respect for those who do it well. I liked how organizers had set up displays of all the crafts entered with the quilts as sort of a centerpiece. I'm not sure if you have to win a ribbon at the county level to have an item entered at the state level, but everything was really impressive!
Growing up in rural Missouri & Arkansas, I've seen a lot of livestock in my day. As a television reporter, I once had to do a story about the new livestock barn at the NEA District Fair in Jonesboro, AR and shamelessly interviewed a cow. It was not my finest moment. But it was life experience that left me knowing my way around a fair barn. It was fun watching the expressions on Colt's face as he took in the sights (and smells) for the first time!
Colt didn't get to ride a camel on his first Fair visit, but he did see seals! How cool/random is that?
Maybe next year we can go on the rides...
...or maybe not! Some of them looked a little braver than I was willing to be.
Overall, my family and I were really impressed with the NY State Fair. It had a lot to offer, plenty to see and tons of things for families. It seemed clean and well organized. If you ever have the chance to go, take it! Y'all won't be disappointed!
And by the way, we took home some of the best souvenirs you could get...take a look:
*Special thanks to the New York State Fair for providing complementary passes. Thanks y'all!