We asked readers to pepper us with questions about this year’s New York State Fair. I’m still going through more than 100 inquiries. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll track down people who do. (Believe it or not, State Fair officials are busy at this time a year.) I’m trying to answer a few each day leading up to the Fair, which opens Wednesday, Aug. 23, and runs through Labor Day. If there’s something you want to know, send me an email to email@example.com or text me at 315-382-1984.
Geddes, N.Y. — So many questions you sent about the State Fair had to do with food. No surprise. Many of us already know what we’re going to eat and drink before we even arrive at the Fairgrounds. Some of our choices are based on tradition, others come from word of mouth about the newest deep-fried monstrosity. Here are a few:
Q: Is there a possibility Dinosaur BBQ will be coming back?
— A.J. M., among others
A: Well, David and others, this has been one of our the most frequently asked questions. Dinosaur BBQ will not be back this year. Alice Maggiore, a State Fair spokeswoman, said “We’d welcome them back anytime!”
Longtime vendors — past and present — have said they’ve battled staffing shortages and other post-COVID challenges since 2021. Some of these vendors end up skipping the fair altogether so they can keep their staff at their brick-and-mortar restaurants.
Q: Will anyone be selling Gianelli sausage this year?
— Kathleen S.
A: Of course, Kathleen. There is plenty of sausage to go around. Two of my go-tos for Gianelli are Tommy C’s and Jimmy B’s. Santillo’s and Basilio’s serve great sausage too.
Q: Last year, Colossal Onion was not at the fair even though they were on the list of vendors and on the map. Will they return this year? The other onion booths are OK. Nothing compares to Colossal and their amazing sauce.
— David S. and a few others
A: According to the Fair’s most current records, Colossal Onion is not at The Fair this year. You’ll still be able to find plenty of deep-fried onions as well as hundreds of other fun foods. Peruse the food and exhibitor list on the Fair’s website. When the Fair opens next week, the Food Finder app will be live on the Fair’s website too.
Q: Last year the lottery booth was not selling scratch-offs. Will they this year?
— David S. (again)
A: Yes, Dave. The Lottery Booth will be selling scratch-off tickets this year.
Charlie Miller finds the best in food, drink and fun across Central New York. Contact him at (315) 382-1984, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (AND he pays for what he and his guests eat and drink, just so you know.) You can also find him under @HoosierCuse on Twitter and on Instagram. Sign up for his free weekly Where Syracuse Eats newsletter here.