The History of the New York State Fair

Bridge Street

The end of August means The Great New York State Fair is upon us and in 2021 the fair is celebrating a milestone.  

The History of the Great New York State Fair goes way back and is the oldest state fair in the entire country! This year the fair is celebrating its 180th birthday and was first held at Syracuse in 1841 in and around the old courthouse bounded by North Salina, Division, Townsend, and Ash Streets.  

For much of the 19th century, the Fair moved around the state.  The fair was once held in Albany, Utica, Auburn, Saratoga, Buffalo, Rochester, Elmira, and Watertown. In 1890, Syracuse became the permanent resident of the Great New York State Fair. 

You can visit their website at CNYHistory.org or stop by their museum at 321 Montgomery Street in Downtown Syracuse.   

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