The Great New York State Fair earned seven awards in the annual competition operated by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), said Acting Commissioner of Agriculture James B. Bays.
IAFE is the trade group representing more than 1,000 fairs, events, and expositions from around the world. The awards were announced at the event's annual convention in Las Vegas.
"The outstanding efforts of staff, in collaboration with many partners, produced first-class information and entertainment that was rightfully recognized during this national competition," said Acting State Agriculture Commissioner James B. Bays.
"We are proud of the work that everyone did on these projects and grateful for the recognition. I thank our many partners for their hard work and dedication to providing high-quality exhibits at this year's fair," Bays said.
The fair earned a first place prize for Best Solution-Based Communication Effort for its new exhibit "Onondaga Lake: A Fresh Gateway to the New New York."
The exhibit, which occupied an entire wing of the Center of Progress Building at this year's fair, showed fairgoers how the work to remediate the lake is creating economic opportunity throughout the region and is helping restore fish and bird species to the lake habitat.
A committee of more than a dozen non-profit, educational, government, and business organizations worked with the fair to create the exhibit.
"This exhibit was the first of its kind at the fair," said Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., president of State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and co-chair of the exhibit committee.
"The New York State Fair partnered with all of us to develop a 2,000-square-foot exhibit that showed New Yorkers how coordinated remediation efforts between state and local partners at Onondaga Lake are changing the region and providing for future economic vitality. It is an extraordinary story of a community coming together to improve not only Onondaga Lake, but the quality of life in Central New York," Murphy said.
Another of the fair's new exhibits also won a major national honor from IAFE. The New York Animal Agriculture Coalition's Dairy Cow Birthing Center earned second place in the agricultural competition for Fair and Sponsor/Partner Joint Exhibit Program.
The center was packed with fairgoers, anxious to witness a dairy cow giving birth to a baby calf. The center featured 30 births throughout the Fair with farmers and veterinarians on hand to answer questions about the birthing process and dairy farms in general. A live webcam of the birthing center, offered through Cornell University, allowed people at home to share in the excitement.
Jessica Ziehm, executive director of the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC), said, "The production of milk starts with the birth of a baby calf, and so it made sense to us to showcase this phenomenon at the State Fair, as NYAAC works to educate the public about modern dairy farms.
"Fairgoers wowed us with their interest in this exhibit and our farmers were thrilled to share their passion and commitment to the care of dairy cows with the public. We are honored with this recognition and thank the New York State Fair for partnering with us to provide this unique opportunity to the public," Ziehm said.
The fair's advertising and marketing efforts, created by its marketing firm, Pinckney Hugo Group of Syracuse, won several awards, including three first place awards.
- The fair's television commercials for its advance sale and concert ticket sales efforts won first place in the television category;
- The fair's e-mail newsletter announcing a special ticket sale for the Toby Keith concert won in the electronic newsletter category;
- All of the fair's efforts to tie its marketing back to its mobile platform won for best mobile campaign;
- A full-page newspaper ad touting the availability of advance sale tickets won third place in the color newspaper ads category, and;
- A full-page magazine ad for advance sale tickets won third place in the magazine ad category.