State fair director: it would be ‘wise to move back’ to 13-day fair, 18-day span is less sustainable

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NEW YORK STATE FAIRGROUNDS — On the last day of the 2021 State Fair, fair Director Troy Waffner talked to NewsChannel 9 about the changes this year saw from previous years, what worked well, and how vendors have done given the circumstances.

When asked if the extended 18-day fair was a better option than the original length of 13 days, Waffner said you took a straw poll, vendors would vote “overwhelmingly in favor” of a 13-day fair. He said that stress on staff working that long is a major reason.

“If it’s 13 versus 18, I think 13 days was a good run of a fair. Like I said, very sustainable. I think it would be a wise move to go back to it,” Waffner said.

Waffner said that the New York State Fair also shares vendors with other county fairs, so when the fair was extended to 18 days that could no longer happen for those vendors due to the staffing and timing strain, which caused vendors to pull out of the state fair.

Even though Waffner said the 13 days is a much easier time span for the fair, this year was still a good run.

You know, after the first day, I thought this was going to be a low-attended fair. It just had a different feel to it, but you know, we got through it and we had a couple good weekend runs and you know, we’re going to go in a rebuilding phase and whatever days we end up with, we’re going to make sure it looks and feels like a normal fair again.

New York State Fair Director Troy Waffner

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