New York State Fair Preview

The New York State Fair runs from August 23-September 3.

The New York State Fair is only a few short days away, but before the lines start forming, you can get a preview of this year's fair.

Vendors have been setting up, making sure they are prepared for crowds and hoping to experiment with new menu items. "[I'm] checking did I order enough french fries? Do I have this?" said Bebe Davoli, owner of Cahoots The Ale House. "I'm going to put something new on my menu this year: chicken and waffles. So you just wonder, will that be a hit or not? I saw IHOP just did it, so I figure we'll try it."

For another vendor, selling at the fair is beneficial for both his business and customers. "It's a good avenue for us to pick up some extra business," said Dennis Morgan, owner of Mountainview Restaurant. "For the everyday Joe Public coming, there's so many different types of foods and things to see here that it's well worth the money to come out and see it."

One of the biggest changes you may notice is with signage. Many signs, particularly those on agricultural buildings, are now printed in both English and Spanish.

There are also more signs with information about animals, which are an emphasis at this year's fair. "I think one of the most important things is not forgetting the roots of the State Fair, which is all about agriculture," said State Fair Director Dan O'Hara.

Many come to the livestock area with questions about caring for their own animals. "They have pictures of their birds at home," said Lewis Smith, who is exhibiting 400 birds at the fair. "They want to know what kind they are, know things about them, different things, show me their chicken house and how to improve their house."

The fair is also getting some new additions - a big screen going up near the Chevy Court Stage, as well as additional outdoor seating.

For kids, there will be a scavenger hunt and a Labor Day event called the Agricultural Extravaganza, designed to teach children about horticulture, agriculture and livestock.

The New York State Fair opens Thursday.