At least once a year I go in very early to the New York State Fair. While the Fair officially opens at 10:00 AM, people can start entering the fairgrounds by 7 AM. It is quiet as trucks unload to refill vendor stands, vendors slowly start to prepare for the day, people talk while eating breakfast at the few places who open early and, as a photographer, the enjoyment of seeing these things before most people do is a treat. I thought others might feel the same.
I ran a vendor stand in one of the Craft Tents for years during the Fair. Getting in early, setting up, having time to talk with other vendors and enjoy a hot breakfast before a busy day was part of its charm.
The NYS Fairgrounds has gone through a lot of change over the last three years. The mile long race track and grandstands have been replaced. Opening up much more space for a larger Midway and other additions like the new Exposition Center.
Events do happen before 10:00 AM, the Tractor Supply Co. Exhibit Center (aka the Cow Barn) has hundreds of competitions and always start early. I followed a Judge who had the task of picking out the best Guernsey heifer from a large group. Not knowing what to look for I was fascinated in how he went about it.
In the Goat, Llama and Swine barn, I watched pigs being bathed before their competitions. All I can say about this pig was he looked full of confidence after his bath. I had a feeling the other pigs were going to have their work cut out for them.
The International Horse Show is a big draw every year. The last weekend at the Fair features the popular draft horse breeds of Belgians, Percherons and Clydesdales. I caught eye of a couple of Belgians being readied for their classes.
Everyday the Fair officially opens with the singing of the U.S. National Anthem. The soldiers from the U.S. Army exhibit all stood and saluted the nearest raised flag until the singer was finished.
If you have a local, county or state fair you visit every year. Find out how early you can get in. It is a fun and interesting way to spend a morning.
Click this link to see previous posts about the Great New York State Fair.