Deadlines are coming up quickly for some of the dozens of events that form the core of the 2019 Great New York State Fair’s competitions. New Yorkers can enter hundreds of competitions in more than 50 major categories. Many relate to agriculture and traditional crafts, but there are also events that test a person’s skill in the arts. Anyone can enter most competitions, though a few are reserved for professionals. Entry instructions can be found here.
Agricultural competitions include amateur winemaking; Christmas tree growing (a professionals-only event); fruit, vegetable and grain growing; and various types of flowers and flower design. Livestock judging competitions include those for beef cattle; dairy cattle; meat goats; dairy goats; llamas; sheep; swine; and wool, with separate competitions for youth. Horses and riders compete in everything from barrel racing to the 6-horse hitch.
In the arts, people can submit paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture to the juried art show that takes place on the top floor of the Art & Home Center. There’s a creativity contest called Bucket of Junk, in which contestants are given identical buckets of random items and must make a sculpture with them. There’s a poetry contest with a live poetry reading during the Fair and a quilting display on the ground floor of the Art & Home Center. The culinary competition features delicious recipes in various categories. The Drone Film Festival features amateur and professional submissions from around the world of short films made using unmanned aerial vehicles. There’s even a competition to see who will sing the National Anthem to open the Fair each day, called The Star-Spangled Challenge.
“Competitions are fun and in many cases are great ways to meet other people who share your interests. Some of these competitions stretch back to the earliest days of the Fair and link us to our long and proud agricultural history. I encourage everyone to check out the competitions and give one a try,” said Troy Waffner, Fair Director.
Upcoming deadline dates include:
- July 1: Arts & Crafts, Bucket of Junk, Culinary, Fine Arts, Photography, Poetry, Senior Citizens;
- July 4: The Star-Spangled Challenge;
- July 14: Youth Dog Show Photo, Video, and Young Poets Writing Challenge;
- July 15: Swine; Drone Film Festival;
- July 17: Cavies, Pigeons, Poultry, Rabbits;
- July 19: Dairy Goats, Llamas, Meat Goats, Antique Tractors, Dairy Products;
- July 22: Sheep, Wool, Beef Cattle;
- July 24: Flower Show Artistic Design, CNY Gladiolus Show, Container Grown Plants, Dahlias, Garden Flowers, Garden Fruits and Vegetables, Gladiolus, Hosta, Junior Horticulture, Roses;
- July 26: Commercial Conventional and Organic Fruit, Vegetables, Maple & Honey, Conventional & Organic Forage and Grain;
- July 31: Youth Dog Show entry form;
- August 5: Christmas Trees;
- August 9: Dairy Cattle;
- August 12: Youth Beef Cattle, Youth Dairy Cattle, Youth Horse Show, Youth Dairy Goats, Youth Meat Goats, Youth Pack Goats, Youth Poultry, Youth Rabbit & Cavy, Youth Sheep, Youth Swine;
- August 20: Iroquois Indian Village.
Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair is America’s third largest state fair. The Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of Governor Cuomo’s CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. Fair attendance is up more than 40% since the beginning of more than $120 million in investments, with 1.27 million people attending the Fair in 2018. The 2019 Fair runs from August 21 to September 2. Information about the Fair can be found here.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available here. Find the Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter and enjoy photos from the Fair on Flickr. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at [email protected].