Geddes (WSYR-TV) -- When you walk through the gate at the NY State Fair, you can smell the fried dough and see the tall rides on the horizon. It’s easy to overlook the attractions on the outer edge of the fairgrounds, but there are a few gems for families on the front stretch.
There’s a new show at the Fair this year, racing swines and dashing dachshunds wearing hot dog bun costumes.
“Oh my God, it was awesome. The kids loved it. It was wonderful,” said fairgoer Mary Piazza.
It’s the kind of entertainment you’ll only find at the Fair. But you have to look for it. Beyond the Midway, the less traveled front stretch offers families a break from the pricey rides and games.
The U.S. Military has a row of simulators. One of them lets you sit in a chopper or take over the controls of a drone from Hancock Field, free of charge.
“This is virtual reality…We can fly three different helicopters on here,” said Army SFC Nathaniel Rogers. “We can fly them on a Chinook. We can fly them on an Apache. We can fly on a medivac.”
On safer ground, farther down the front stretch is Iroquois Village, which offers free dance shows throughout the week.
“We demonstrate a variety of social dances, slow and fast, a lot of eye catching movement and songs,” said Iroquois Village Superintendent Jordan Cooke.
There are round-the-clock crafting demonstrations or a shot at the archery range too.
“You know the food is expensive, so it’s nice to find some things for free entertainment,” said one fairgoer.
The archery range costs a couple of dollars, but a lot of the other events are free and scheduled each morning and afternoon through Labor Day.