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The History of the Great New York State Fair
August 20, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Come see historical photographs from the collections of the Geddes Historical Society and listen to Susan Millet tell the stories of the Great New York State Fair.
The program begins at 2:00 pm and the cost is $5 at the door. For questions, call 315-428-1864 x.313.
The Fair’s beginnings:
In February 1832 the New York State Agricultural Society was founded in Albany by a group of farmers, legislators, and others to promote agricultural improvement and local fairs. In spring 1841, with the promise of an annual state subsidy, the society planned the nation’s first state fair, subsequently held on 29-30 Sept 1841 in Syracuse. There an assembled 10,000-15,000 people heard speeches by notables and viewed animal exhibits, a plowing contest, and samples of manufactured goods for the farm and home. The second New York State Fair, held in Albany in 1842, ushered in an era of growth and travel for the institution. During the 1840s the fair’s directors increased attendance and revenues by adding horse racing and other forms of entertainment. From 1842 to 1889 the fair traveled among 11 different cities—Albany, Auburn, Buffalo, Elmira, New York City, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Utica, and Watertown—before permanently settling in Onondaga Co in 1890.