Experience Syracuse’s Winter Fair

The fair, which is held in February, features vendors, food, live entertainment and even fireworks

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

If you want to get out and do something fun this winter that won’t result in frost nipped fingers and toes, the Syracuse Winter Fest is a great option.

Held at the New York State Fairgrounds, the fair includes many of the fun elements of the summertime event, such as midway style rides, fair food, vendors, live entertainment and even fireworks.

The fair will be held Feb. 2, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Feb. 3, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Feb. 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fireworks will take place Friday and Saturday (Feb. 2-3).

“We came up with this idea and launched it in 2019 to give people a chance to have some of the summer fun in winter,” said Steve Becker, head of Premier Promotions in Liverpool, which produces the event.

Although the pandemic curtailed further growth of Winter Fair, it’s back and bigger than ever, covering all of the 100,000-plus square feet of the Expo Center.

To benefit local Boys and Girls Clubs, Winter Fair is hosting Winter Fair Hoops. This event raised $5,000 last year. The fair also fundraises for NAACP and donates exhibit space for other charitable organizations.

New for this year, members of Legend Athletics of Syracuse University will make guest appearances to offer a Q&A session, mingle and even shoot a few hoops with visitors. The fair will launch Legend Athletics merchandise featuring prominent athletes from SU’s basketball, lacrosse and football teams. A percentage of sales will benefit Boys and Girls Clubs.

On Sunday, the fair celebrates Black History Month with Gospel music performers, African drumming and a fashion show.

Other exhibitors include Irish dancers, karate demonstrations, and Six Nations dancers.

“It’s a fun event and we usually have at least 13 to 15 rides, from a roller coaster to merry-go-round to things you can experience outdoors during the summer,” Becker said.

Outside, guests can view ice sculptures by renowned sculptor Stan Kolonko. A fireworks display by Majestic Fireworks will take place at 8:45, Feb.2-3.

Advanced tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for teens, pre-teens and seniors. Children 10 and younger are free. At the door, admission is $7 for adults and $5 for teens and pre-teens and seniors. Children 10 and under are free. Parking is free for all advanced ticket holders. If attendees come after 7 p.m., admission is free and parking is $10. Unlimited ride tickets are $25.

For ore information and to purchase advanced tickets, visit www.nyswinterfair.com.