We're two days out from what would've been the start of the first-ever eighteen-day Great New York State Fair.
"Right now, we would’ve been very very busy. We would’ve been running around, constructing the stand, we would’ve been cleaning everything. I would’ve been a lot dirtier than I am right now," says Phil Galuppi, owner of Stix & Things, a stand that's been participating for 18 years.
As far as preparations, amusement rides would typically be tested and inspected.
"The whole place is just a bustle of action, and most of us haven’t slept in a couple of days, so this year, it is different. It’s a somber moment," says Troy Waffner, Director of the New York State Fair.
Troy Waffner says he's sad to see this attraction succumb to the pandemic.
According to Visit Syracuse, Onondaga County is losing out on at least 50 million from the Fair.
"The economic impact of the fair is somewhere well north of 100 million dollars over 13 days, so over 18 days it would’ve been even greater," says Waffner.
Waffner says he sees visitors coming from many northeastern areas.
"Whether they go to Byrne Dairy to buy a cup of coffee on their way to the fair or whatever they’re doing, it’s money spent in Central New York, and it’s money we get to keep at the end of the day for local government," says Waffner.
While the owner of Stix & Things isn't financially affected as much, he feels for his employees.
Waffner says some of these vendors rely on the fair for their annual source of income.
"You listen to people – the vendors – and they’ll tell you they put their kids through college on the money they made at the fair, and you know, those are heart touching moments," says Waffner.
Waffner says he's been working closely with Pizza Fritte, and the events they've been putting on at the orange lot.
As for any future events on the Fairgrounds, Waffner says they're trying to catch up on maintenance work since it's challenging to put on events with the current guidelines that are in place.