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NYS Fair kicks off with roller coasters, country stars and local food

By ANNA MEILER

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) -- The midway at the New York State Fair is all new for the first time in 73 years.

"It's awesome, it's a lot better than last year," said Rebecca Passineau, a fairgoer.

There are 63 rides that twist, turn and will make you scream, including the second largest portable roller coaster in the country.

"Everyone just seems overwhelmed by it. It's really been neat seeing people's faces excited about what's going on this year," said Ron Weber, of Wade Shows, which is in charge of running the midway this year.

The fair is full of more local flavors than ever before- sausages, ice cream, taffy spun right on the spot. One of the highlights is a booth where you can fry anything you can imagine. We brought a Utica favorite: half moons!

"This is great. We may have to make it a new menu item," said Jim Hasbrouk, the Fry Guy.

If you head to the Colonnade you can taste pure New York spirit from 25 local vendors.

"Having all the local vendors, all the local wineries, all the local distilleries represented here is what makes it the New York State fair. You're representing New York," said David Tadros, owner of New York State Brew Pub.

The fair sounds as good as it tastes. Country star Kellie Pickler sang Thurdsay afternoon, just one of 23 big name artists performing this year. And you won't want to miss the 800 pounds of butter carved into a sculpture raising awareness of the need for milk donations at food drives.

One million people are expected to head to the fair grounds and you'll find a larger movement to make agriculture the center piece.

"There's a lot more cows, a lot more horses, a lot more kids with blue jackets running around from FFA and 4H, you'll see a lot more products produced in New York State," said Richard Ball, commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets. "One percent of the population is agriculture, so 99 percent consumes it. This is where they can meet."

The fair lasts until Sep. 1. Find a full list of events here: www.nysfair.org

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