The “Great” New York State Fair that takes place in Syracuse is a veritable mess, a beautiful, beautiful mess of attempted state spirit, food that will bring about a premature heart attack and people wearing outfits that mix camo and spandex. However, it is a quintessential New York State right of passage, and one that will send you sprinting back towards the sanity and comfort of New York City. Seriously, one time I saw a vendor selling Confederate flag gear. Things get weird upstate.
The New York State Fair runs from August 21 to September 1, the week and a half before school starts, so if you need to validate your reasoning for living in New York City or if you want at least a couple crazy stories to share from your summer you should hop on the bus—it’s a measly four and a half hour ride—and bring yourself to real Upstate New York. Surviving the State Fair isn’t as easy as packing a lot of sunblock and wearing as little clothing as possible. Heads up: you can legally not wear pants at the fair for some reason; it’s all about a good plan of attack. Luckily, we’ve got you covered for the New York State Fair’s main events.