SYRACUSE, N.Y. — New York State’s status as the nation’s melting pot of world cultures is reflected in the 2022 Great New York State Fair’s programming and entertainment offerings, with culture, food, and merchandise from around the globe on display throughout the grounds.
State Fair interim Director Sean Hennessey said, “The Fair is dedicated to making sure that every fairgoer can see themself and their culture reflected here. This Fair is for all New Yorkers, and we work hard every year to make this festival more inclusive than the previous Fair.”
The diversity of the Fair’s high-profile schedule of concerts on the Chevy Park and Chevy Court stages are complemented by entertainment on the Fair’s stages located in the Pan-African, Latino and Indian Villages, on the Grange Stage, and in the Empire Theater. The Fair has also greatly diversified its food offerings in recent years. This year, Balkan Street Food, Brazilian Bowls, and other international cuisines are featured in addition to traditional fried-food specialties.
The Pan-African Village, a Fair mainstay, continues the work started last year to broaden its musical offerings, providing music ranging from classic soul and R&B from veteran groups such as Trumptight and The Blacklites, to modern hip-hop from young talents such as Brooklyn’s Lucki Caesar. There will also be jazz and reggae highlighted as well as the addition of Latin performers to embrace the full Pan-African heritage. The full schedule can be found by clicking here.
Keeping with tradition, group drumming will take place each day. African art will be displayed and available for purchase, and vendors such as Sarita’s, Omani’s Lemonade, Las Delicias, and Henry’s Hen House—all located in the Pan African Village along Niagara Street—will delight tastebuds.
Latino Village Weekend is celebrated on the final four days of the Fair, starting September 2 and continuing through Labor Day, September 5. Located in the vicinity of the Youth Building, between Sioux Avenue and Bell Isle Street, the village is a celebration of the music, culture, food, and crafts of the region’s Hispanic community. The stage will feature performances starting at 12 p.m. each day, featuring regional and international acts, including Alex Torres and his Latin Band and Puerto Rican merengue band Grupo Karis. A highlight is the return of the energetic drag show, The Latino Village Talent Showcase Divas at the New York State Fair, starting at 4 p.m. Sunday, September 4. The full schedule can be found by clicking here.
Dominos will be played at the Village and food will be provided by Big Papi’s Coquito Icees, La Delicias, and Congo Box.
The Indian Village, operated by the Six Nations Agricultural Society, is the home of the culture of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The various longhouses teach fairgoers about the lives of the Iroquois, showing them what it was like to live centuries ago. The longhouses display the results of arts and crafts competitions. Custom-made crafts are for sale, and The Cookhouse features tasty food.
The centerpiece takes place on the Turtle Mound in the heart of the village, where men and women perform dances, wearing traditional clothing and explain the dances and songs.
This year, the Empire Theater in the Art & Home Center will see first-time performances from several groups from the region’s Asian community, featuring everything from Bhutanese dancers to K-Pop and Korean opera, as well as Ukrainian dance.
Families with young children are invited to take a break in the air-conditioned theater to enjoy family-friendly movies. The theater’s 97-year-old Wurlitzer organ, one of the last full-orchestra organs remaining in the country, will also be in action. Fairgoers can enjoy the return of dance troupes and a youth jazz concert. The full schedule can be found by clicking here.
After the Progress Flag is raised at the Pride Day celebration at 9:30 a.m., Friday, August 26, the Empire Theater will host a daylong celebration for Pride Day, leading up to the Pride Parade at 6 p.m. (which steps off from the Expo Center).
The Art & Home Center will also play host to a Naturalization Ceremony on Friday, August 26 for New Americans Day. One hundred new Americans will be sworn in at 11 a.m.. The ceremony is the final step in a long process to become Americans and is a moving event to witness.
The stage in the Grange Building is the home of traditional music and dancing, including Clogging dance groups, old time fiddlers and other folk musicians and dancers. The Grange Stage hosts performances every day and the full schedule can be found by clicking here.
Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of the state’s CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. The 2022 Fair begins in two days, this Wednesday, August 24, and continues through Monday, September 5.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Audiences are encouraged to learn more about the Great New York State Fair online, and follow the fun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Guests are invited to see photos from the Fair on Flickr and ideas are always welcome. New Yorkers are encouraged to send suggestions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
–NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets