August 22, 2016
Albany, NY

State Fair and Partners Urge Fairgoers to Take Advantage of New Parking Opportunities in Response to Significant Parking Lot Changes

State Fair and Partners Urge Fairgoers to Take Advantage of New Parking Opportunities in Response to Significant Parking Lot Changes
Centro Shuttles Provide Convenient, Constant and Cost-Efficient Way to Get to the Fair Quickly.
Coordinated Communications Plan Will Alert Travelers to Traffic Conditions

Parking patterns will change for the 2016 Great New York State Fair, presenting new opportunities for fairgoers to find efficient ways to get to the Fair, State Fair Acting Director Troy Waffner said today. Only vehicles that display a parking permit or license plate for people with disabilities will be allowed to park inside the Fairgrounds.  At the same time, Centro is restructuring its Park-N-Ride service to the Fair to make ride and wait times much shorter and increase its overall passenger capacity.

Gate 6 will no longer be open to the public during the Fair except for those with the proper permit or license plates for people with disabilities. People whose vehicles have the proper permit or license plates can enter at Gate 6 and park in the accessible spots in the Grey Lot.  They can then access the Fair using trams that run all day.  Many trams are accessible to people with disabilities. All trams are free this year, courtesy of a new sponsorship from Chevrolet.  Accessible parking has been expanded this year in the Pink Lot across from the Main Gate, and there are a limited number of accessible spaces in the Brown and Orange parking lots.

Gate 7 will only be open for commercial or livestock deliveries and recreational vehicles. State Police will direct all other vehicles into the Fair’s Orange, Brown and Pink parking lots.  Free shuttle buses are available from the Orange Lot to deliver fairgoers to the Main Gate.   

The primary Fair parking lot for motorists coming from the east on I-690 westbound will continue to be the Orange Lot.  Motorists should use the right lane and right shoulder of westbound I-690’s Exit 6 to gain access to the lot. Drivers coming from the west on I-690 East will continue to use the Brown and Pink parking lots.  Motorists should use eastbound Exit 7 and enter from the off-ramp.  

“It’s a year of great change at the Great New York State Fair and we know people are going to want to come just to see what’s new. We’ve put a lot of effort into planning for this year’s crowds and I want to urge everyone to take a moment and consider alternatives which can get your visit to America’s very first state fair off to the best possible start,” said Troy Waffner, Acting Fair Director. 

Using Park-N-Ride 

Centro’s Park-N-Ride service features shuttle buses that provide fairgoers with a quick, convenient and cost-efficient way to get to the Fair.  Shuttles leaves from the following locations:

The large parking lots at Destiny USA’s Solar St. parking lots every 8 to 10 minutes from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Long Branch Park near Liverpool every 12 to 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 12:15 a.m.

ShoppingTown Mall every 30 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to midnight.

The Camillus Lowe’s parking lot every 30 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The downtown Centro Transit Hub beginning at 7 a.m.  The buses deliver riders to the Fair’s Main Gate.

The new locations at Destiny USA and Long Branch Park are much closer to the Fair and will shorten shuttle drive times while increasing the frequency of bus runs.  A one-way fare is $2 per person.  The fare for persons with a disability, seniors age 65 and older and children ages 6 to 9 is $1.   Children under 6 accompanied by an adult ride for free. Parking in all Park-N-Ride lots is free. Note that parking and shuttle service at Long Branch Park will not begin until noon on Sat., Aug. 27 due to an event in the area. 

Centro also operates Park-N-Ride lots to the Fair in Cayuga and Oswego counties.  In Oswego County, the first departure is from Oswego at 8:50 a.m., with stops in Fulton and Phoenix.  It makes five runs per day to the Fair and six runs returning to Oswego, with the final run leaving the Fair at 11:30 p.m.  Fares range from $3 to $5. 

One Cayuga County bus leaves Fingerlakes Mall hourly from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with stops in Elbridge.  A separate bus leaves Port Byron with a stop in Weedsport five times each day beginning at 9:30 a.m., with buses returning hourly until midnight.  Fares range from $2 to $4. 

More information on convenient Park-N-Ride services is available on the Centro website.

“Our new Park-N-Ride locations allow us to accommodate more fairgoers and move them more quickly by increasing the number of trips to and from the Fair’s main gate,” said Centro Chief Executive Officer Rick Lee.  “We are once again proud to partner with the New York State Fair to provide this service.”

Special Incentives

Parking at the Oncenter parking lot will be free every day of the Fair for those parking to ride Centro to the Fair from the downtown Centro Transit Hub. Also, the Jefferson St. parking lot adjacent to Centro’s downtown Syracuse hub will offer free parking on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 3 and 4 to help encourage people to use the bus on two of the Fair’s traditionally busiest days. 

Fairgoers are also urged to consider carpooling, which not only helps the efficiency of the Fair’s parking lots but also saves fuel and is more cost-efficient, as Fair parking is paid for by the car, not by the person.  Parking at the Fair is $5 per vehicle.

To assist fairgoers in making travel plans, the Fair, Centro, the New York State Police, and the New York State Department of Transportation are implementing a coordinated communications plan to alert people to the best opportunities for parking during the Fair.  Traffic and parking-related messages will be shown on DOT’s mobile message boards on major highways, including Interstates 81, 690 and 481. The New York State Thruway will also broadcast messages on boards using its separate messaging network. Similar messages will be spread via the Fair’s social media channels and its phone app. 

The speed limit on I-690 and NY 695 near the Fairgrounds will be reduced to 55 miles per hour due to the higher volume of vehicles, a larger number of motorists who are unfamiliar with the area and the traffic signal device on I-690 that operates only during the Fair.

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “The State Police encourage all motorists to plan ahead when coming to the State Fair. Familiarize yourself with any changes to parking areas or patterns you may have used previously, and take advantage of the new services being provided. Troopers will be on site to help motorists navigate the fairgrounds, but being prepared can help everyone have a safe and fun trip to the Fair.”

Before the Fair, fairgoers who have bought tickets online and those who have subscribed to the Fair’s email newsletter will receive detailed information on parking access and alternatives.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5, 2016. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gate— the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation. Renderings can be viewed on their flickr account.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, enjoy photos from the Fair at, and follow us on Snapchat at nysfair. New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair to [email protected].