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Officials expect changes to New York State Fair as COVID numbers rise

The public and elected officials are growing concerned that the rise of the delta variant and lack of vaccinations across the board could have an impact on the New York State Fair.

Assemblyman Al Stirpe, a Democrat who represents the 127th district, says he expects things to change before the New York State Fair actually happens.

While just a couple weeks away, the current plan is for the fair to operate at 100% capacity. Stirpe says it’s likely things change between now and then.

“I think at the time, the way the numbers had read out, the governor was excited. A lot of people were excited. We had missed the Fair the previous year completely, and to see that things were in a position where we could have a real State Fair just like we used to have was pretty intoxicating for a lot of people,” said Stirpe.

The gates are expected to be open from August 20 through Labor Day.

“Based on the way things are right now I’d have to say that it’s pretty likely that there will be adjustments to having a wide-open State Fair,” Stirpe continued.

The CDC says Onondaga County has reached ‘Substantial Transmission’. That means it recommends masks in any indoor setting.

“Guidance from the state for the State Fair has yet to change – those who are unvaccinated are asked to wear masks. Should guidelines change, we will notify the public in advance,” a representative of the New York State Fair told

“The biggest fear I think everyone has is that schools will reopen, infection rates will go up, everybody is back to remote learning, and then we are back to the same mess we were last year,” Stirpe added, regarding the timing of back to school.

He expects final guidance for the fair to come out within a week.

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