Did you know that the very first County Fair in the U.S. took place almost 200 years ago in Watertown, NY?


Although almost two centuries have passed, a lot about a county fair remains reassuringly the same.  Initially, they were started to gather county residents together to share information on agricultural and horticultural practices, once the mainstay of this country.  Today, these festive annual events still include livestock shows and horticultural exhibits, but many have expanded to include such activities as concerts, competitions, car shows, monster truck rallies and demo derbies, rides and let’s not forget about the food.  I can almost see the lights of the ferris wheel and smell the cotton candy being spun!

The New York State Fair has many aspects of a county fair, but on a much larger and grander level. Last year’s attendance was just shy of a million people who came to see the entertainment, enjoy the rides, food and entertainment and see the livestock, produce and competitions.

There’s no doubt about it…a county or state fair is still an entertaining way for a family to spend a fun and educational day!  Check below for the dates of fairs in the Finger Lakes region:

  1. July 7 – 10 – Cayuga County Fair – Free admission and parking. Located on Rte. 31, 1/4 mile from Rte. 34, Weedsport.
  2. July 12 – 16 – Cortland County Junior Fair –   Located at Carroll Street Ext., Cortland.
  3. July 12 -16 – Yates County Fair –   Located at Old Rte 14 A in Penn Yan.
  4. July 13-17Monroe County Fair Adults 18-59 $6, Seniors (60+) $4, Teens 13-17 $5, Kids 12 and under FREE (gate admission only). Parking is FREE!   Located at 2695 East Henrietta Road, Henrietta.
  5. July 18 – July 23 – Seneca County Fair– Free admission. Located at the Seneca County Fairgrounds, corner of Swift St & North Rd. (Route 96 N) in Waterloo, NY.
  6. July 20 – 25 – Tioga County Fair– General Admission $9 (includes rides). Free Parking. Children 5 and under Free (does not include rides, Ride all day with a $9.00 ride pass! Weekly General Admission Pass $30. Located on W. Main Street between William Street and Water Street, Owego.
  7. July 26 – July 30 – Ontario County Fair – Admission is FREE but a vehicle parking fee of $5.00 will be charged daily. Grandstand admission will be in effect depending on the event. Located at 2820 County Road 10, Canandaigua.
  8. July 28 – 31 – Onondaga County 4H Youth Fair–  Free admission. Located at NYS Fairgrounds 581 State Fair Blvd. Syracuse.
  9. August 2 – 6 – Livingston Agricultural Society and County Fair– Pricing to be announced. Located at 310 Leicester Street Caledonia.
  10. August 2 – 7 – Chemung County Fair– Adults $5, Children 6-12, 5 and under Free.  Located at 170 Fairview Rd. – Horseheads.
  11. August 8 – 13 – Wayne County Fair– Adult (ages 17 & up)$5, Youth (ages 6-16) $3, Ages 5 & under with adult Free. Week-long passes (please contact by August 1 for passes) Adult (ages 18 & up) $15, Youth (age 6-17)$8, Exhibitors $8. Located at 250 W. Jackson St., Palmyra.
  12. August 16 – 21 – Steuben County Fair –  Admission $5 (12 yrs. & under free). Parking $3. Located at 15 E. Washington Street, Bath.
  13. August 25 – Sept. 5 – New York State Fair –  Daily admission $10, Children 12 and under free. Seniors 60+ are free on Mon. Aug. 29 and Tues. Aug. 30. Students 16 and under are free on Fri Sept. 2, 2011. Tickets purchased for any grandstand show includes admission on the day of that show for the ticket holder. Open Located at NYS Fairgrounds 581 State Fair Blvd. Syracuse.

Please note: Where information was available via web or phone, pricing is included.  In general, admission does not include midway rides or grandstand events, which are usually additional.