The New York State Fair is losing booth tenants just one month before the summer time tradition begins. Syracuse City Hall and the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency have both declined to return to the Center of Progress Building for their annual public relations visit. The administration of Mayor Stephanie Miner says during tight budget times the city cannot justify the $5,000 booth rental fee and the cost to staff it.
OCRRA reached the same conclusion when considering whether to promote recycling from their typical State Fair location. The decision from both City Hall and the trash agency come after the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation has been reviewing whether it is willing to spend the money on its usual booth space.
Late today the NY State Fair responded to the growing exodus of municipal entities at the Fair. Frederic Pierce sent this written statement to CNYCentral:
"We understand the difficult financial situation everyone is experiencing, and it is unfortunate that budget situations have impacted their decision to participate at the State Fair this year. While municipal exhibits make up a small portion of the sights and activities at the State Fair; there are literally hundreds of other exhibits for fairgoers to enjoy and we still anticipate one of the best State Fairs ever. We hope to see these two entities return to the Fair next year. "
The Syracuse Police Department will still staff its booth which usually features demonstrations and educational materials designed to recruit future officers and improve community relations.
The State Fair begins its annual 12 day run on August 26th. The Fair wraps up on Labor Day.