What's new at the New York State Fair this year?

Published 08/23 2016 08:24PM

Updated 08/24 2016 12:02PM

More than 908,000 people headed to the Fairgrounds last year for the New York State Fair, and expectations grow each year.

People who attend the Fair each year can expect to see a few changes for the 2016 run.

“Every year, it's always a struggle. You have traditionals, you have people who call and tell us they won't to come to the fair because nothing changes. This year, we're trying to satisfy both of those we certainly had big changes but we kept the staples of Gianelli sausage, the glass of milk, the dollar baked potato,” said Troy Waffner, acting director of the NYS Fair.

On the Fair’s media tour on Tuesday, NewsChannel 9 got a sneak peek at what's new— from cookie dough egg rolls to the new dairy cow birthing center.

Moocall, a device that attaches to a dairy cow's tail, senses contractions. The farmer gets a text message when a calf is on the way and you can sign up to get the alerts too. The dairy cow birthing center is also on a web cam at uddermiracles.com

To get the alerts for the cow births, text 24587 and type BABYCOW.

People will gets text alerts when it's almost time for another calf to be born. It's part of the Moocall device that goes on the dairy cow's tale to sense contractions.

And for those who are ride fans, there are 80 attractions that will be set up at the Fair this year. 

The Midway will be much larger than fairgoers may have previously remembered.

"It's 3-acres bigger - which means more rides - which is important. But also more seating areas, cell-phone charging stations, sun-tan lotion stations, guest relations, covered seating. Everything you want in a Midway," Waffner adds.

There is more old-world charm along walkways leading to the center of the grounds. Pedestrian traffic is split by new flower-filled medians with arching lights overhead.

With the grandstands gone - the open section of the fairgrounds is now split into four strips.

The first stop is a larger Kiddie Land with more rides. A picnic area will be set up at the end of that strip, offering seating for lunch.

Alongside Kiddie Land is a new strip that is being dubbed "Broadway". It's devoted to commercial vendors, particularly those that were moved from other sections of the grounds to make way for new features.

If you're looking to get more exercise than just walking around the Fairgrounds, well, you can hop on the Big Yellow Fellow. It's a 10-seated bicycle and it's going to take you on a tour on about half the fairgrounds while you sample local, wines beers and food. It's all a part of a partnership with Taste NY.

“Different days have different tastings, so it's going to be kind of like a grab bag each day, but you'll know what you’re getting as soon as you hop on can because we will have it there ready for you,” said Michael John Haggerty, of Salt City Tours.

Also new this year is the Bloody Mary Bar at the Empire Patio. It has all your favorites on one skewer—chicken spiedie, sausage, a salt potato, New York cheddar and a chicken wings to name a few— all in 1911 vodka.

If you’re headed out to the Fair, come see us! NewsChannel 9 will be broadcasting live each week day starting at noon. Our broadcast center is right next to the dairy products building, across from Chevy Court.

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