By Liz DiGennaro
For 173 years, the Great New York State Fair has drawn together thousands of residents at the close of the summer. Offering countless sources of entertainment, many students and families from Jamesville-DeWitt High School have made the fair an annual tradition in their households. “(The Fair) is a big thing in my family. It’s something that we do together every year,” says freshman Sarina Alexander. This year, Fair attendance broke records, with 122,870 people in attendance on Monday, Sept. 1, bringing the final 2014 attendance total to 1,011,248. What is it exactly that makes the Fair so enticing?
For many students, the Fair offers a wide variety of interesting foods to try. “The food is my favorite part of the fair,” says sophomore Tyler Glowaki. “We go every year to eat the sirloin tips,” add freshmen Hannah Turtle and Olivia Murphy. Along with this delicacy, the Fair offers many distinct and unique dishes, such as fried, cultural and regional specialties. “I had curly fries and Tully’s tenders, which were really good,” says senior Lilli Proe. “I got popcorn and pizza,” says Glowaki. “The fried dough was awesome,” says senior Elizabeth Glisson. This year, the Fair introduced several new foods, such as deep fried lasagna, kangaroo on a stick, and Twinx, a deep-fried Twinkie stuffed with Twix bars and wrapped in bacon.
In addition, many students enjoy the entertainment the Fair offers. Along with many exhibitions depicting regional life, the Fair houses a midway featuring thrill rides and games. “That area is so pretty at night, when it’s all lit up,” says Proe. Aside from appearance, this part of the Fair is enjoyable for many. “The rides were really cool. I wanted to go on so many more then I did,” says Glisson. “I played the squirting game. That wasn’t fun, because I lost,” says Alexander. “We were flipped upside down a lot, which was great” says Turtle. In addition, the 2014 Fair hosted many concerts featuring popular artists, such as Journey, Pitbull, Jason Derulo, and Carrie Underwood. “I went to see The Neighbourhood. It was loud, but a really fun time,” says Turtle.
Another popular aspect of the Fair are the animals and livestock, which may be there for display, for purchase, or for competition. “They’re so cute! I love the bunnies and the little chicks,” says Proe. “Some people I know bought a goat and brought it home, which was pretty cool,” says Glowaki. “I really like going to see the animals. It’s a fun thing to do with my family,” says Alexander.
With so many options for enjoyment, many students are not surprised that Fair attendance broke records this year. “The Fair really has something for everybody. I think that’s why so many people go,” says Glisson. “It’s just a thing that people do in Syracuse. Everyone goes to the Fair,” says Alexander. “(The Fair) is all of New York coming together to end the summer,” adds Glowaki. “People just really like the rides and the food and the games, and how everything just comes together in one place,” says Proe.