The Wagon Queen Family Truckster, the vehicle in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” that took the Griswold family on its comically ill-fated trip to the closed Wally World amusement park, will spend the next two weekends at an event that is actually open: Winterloo at the New York State Fairgrounds. The replica station wagon features the pea green paint job and fake wood paneling of the movie original and will be decked out with other props from the film. Fans can dress as the Griswolds for photos.
Winterloo, a new production of the Great New York State Fair, is a holiday-themed festival featuring shopping, activities, food and beverages, and rides and games. It takes place over two weekends in the Exposition Center: Saturday, Dec. 7 and 14 from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sunday Dec. 8 and 15 from Noon - 6 p.m. Admission, parking and coat check are free. The first 300 attendees each day will receive a free special edition Marvel comic showing Spider-Man soaring over the Expo Center.
“We’ve created Winterloo to blend a small taste of the State Fair with the fun of the holiday season. It promises to be a great family event and I hope everyone will come to enjoy the festival,” said Troy Waffner, Fair Director.
While most of Winterloo takes place inside the Expo Center, the fun begins on the way in the door. Attendees will be greeted by ice sculptures, created by sculptor Stan Kolonko of The Ice Farm in Auburn. Kolonko will also demonstrate the craft of ice sculpting at 2 p.m. each day, turning a block of ice into something unique.
The large windows of the Expo Center will be decorated for the holiday. Students will decorate more than two dozen windows to dress the building properly for the season. Comfort Windows is sponsoring the window decorations.
Other events and activities at Winterloo include:
Holiday cookie decorating. Decorate cookies (available for $3 each or two for $5) in festive frosting and decorative elements to take home, sponsored by JessiCakes;
Ornament decorating. Decorate free ornaments to take home, or to hang on the Chuck Hafner’s Farm Market Tree Circle. Ornaments hung on the Tree Circle will be mailed home after the show along with free tickets to the 2020 Fair;
Rides and games, featuring The World’s Largest Snowman Bounce House. The bounce house is 50 feet tall;
Food and beverages, including a special Peppermint Bark Deep-Fried Oreo created especially for Winterloo. Beverages include water and soda, hot chocolate, coffee and tea, beer, and wine slushies with wine from Ashley Lynn Wineries;
A visit from Spider-Man, who will be on hand to sign copies of the special, limited-edition Marvel comic featuring the web slinging superhero fighting crime in the shadow of the Expo Center;
Music, including performances from 16-year-old local singer/songwriter Sydney Irving at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, rock outfit Hard Promises at 6 p.m. Dec. 7, and acoustic duo Billy J and Dion at 6 p.m. Dec. 14. Seasonal music will play through the Expo Center at other times;
Fireworks, at 8 p.m. on both Saturdays. The display from Majestic Fireworks includes big eight-inch shells, larger than are used for the State Fair’s own show, to provide a higher and more intense experience.
More than 30 vendors will also be on hand to help fill shoppers’ needs for a special gift or stocking stuffer. A complete list of vendors is available on the Winterloo page of the Fair’s website.
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, on Snapchat at nysfair, 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].