I hope all is well and that we are all looking forward to warmer weather…with warmer weather comes the thoughts of summertime and ultimately Fairs! Below are the current plans and information I have regarding the NYS Fair. At this time we are planning for full participation. There are still many details that have to be thought of and worked out, but we are digging in and getting the planning process underway. Please keep an eye out for a Town Hall announcement which I will offer in the next week or two so that I can be available to answer questions and keep you updated on the current planning efforts. I am always happy to meet with folks to discuss State Fair and in light of the changes, I am happy to discuss how this will work with districts at their district meetings.
Based on survey responses and additional feedback we will be transitioning to District Booth Displays. It will be up to each district to determine how late arrival/early dismissal counties will shift into or out of the space provided and what that space will look like/be set up. I will provide additional support and planning documents soon to help Districts navigate this change and I am available to assist with planning the logistics for this change.
Keep in mind that Gate 5, the gate that we have previously been allowed to use for entry and exit, will NOT be available to us. All exhibits will have to be brought in through gates 7 & 11 and driving through the fairgrounds to get to the building may only be allowed at restricted times, much like delivery passes are handled. I strongly encourage counties to work together to have the majority of projects brought in and set up before the fair opens. Pick-up can be arranged for the day after Labor Day as well. Setting up before and tearing down after will alleviate much of the congestion and safety concerns associated with moving in and out of the State Fair.
Each District will be assigned square footage determined and based on total projects brought to the fair in 2019 and the space utilized for those exhibits.
The details for evaluation dates are still being determined and it is important that we know what counties will be moving in late or leaving early due because of their local fair schedules.
More details on this are being hammered out and we feel that if structured properly we can get through all projects in a timely manner and accommodate those counties that need to arrive late or leave early. This will require that districts communicate their plans with us so that we can assign them to the best times for evaluations to occur and arrange for youth to sign up for the in-person evaluation. We are looking at how and if virtual evaluations can be done, but that planning needs more time to work out the details.
We also recognize that perishable items may be an issue for counties that arrive late and again will require communications about those needs.
We have not yet dove into the scheduling of any competitions at this time. I am currently working to collect information about all the competitions held in the past to see if they will be offered/held this fair season so that we can begin to nail down some of these activities and dates for the 2022 State Fair.
Animal Show Schedules
You may begin to hear of show schedules. Please know that these are managed by superintendents that are hired by the State Fair and may have begun working on this aspect of exhibition and participation. The NYS 4-H office can not say with any certainty what will or will not happen with regard to the animal show portion of the State Fair.
I am currently working on finding out more in regards to what is possible, permissible, and advisable, but solid answers are hard to come by. I am currently seeking additional information and guidance from many sources including the Onondaga health department and others and hope to have a tentative plan in place soon…or at least an answer as to what direction we need to pursue. But that all takes time and getting answers is not always easy nor timely.
International Exchange Local Coordinator
NYS Fair 4-H Youth Building Program Coordinator
(607) 253-2021 (home office)