A little weird to think about right? The Great New York State Fair at one time actually called Utica, NY it's home.

It must be hard to believe knowing the fairgrounds are nicely situated in Syracuse and it seems to be the perfect place for the fair. However, it wasn't always that way. Long before the time of cars, and electricity, Utica was last home to the New York State Fair in 1886.

Back in the 1800's when the fair originated it was almost a traveling band of sorts. It didn't hit multiple cities a year, but instead each year a city in New York was able to host it according to the fair's website. Short of a few of them, they are all very well known cities within the Empire State

Cities That Hosted The Great New York State Fair

  • Albany
  • Auburn
  • Buffalo
  • Elmira
  • New York City
  • Poughkeepsie
  • Rochester
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Syracuse
  • Utica
  • Watertown

Where In Utica Was The 1886 NYS Fair?


This is the cool thing. Where it was, actually is sort of still a thing. Now, in the late 1800s where the Masonic Home now sits, there was the Utica Driving Park. There doesn't seem to be any information on exactly what that was, but being there were no cars in 1886, one could only imagine this was like a driving range for golf.

Fun Fact About The State Fair

Did you know, the NYS Fair was actually the first state fair in all of the United States? That would have been in 1841 in Syracuse. Can you imagine rolling up on horseback?

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