The theme of the 2013 New York State Fair is Celebrating the Bounty and Pride of New York. Our Andrew Sorensen found out what that means on opening day of the fair.
NEW YORK STATE FAIR -- As the ribbon is cut, it's back to the roots of the festivities for the 2013 New York State Fair.
"Job number one here is to highlight the best products of New York State, the best things that we grow and the best things that we grow and the best things that we make," said New York State Fair Spokesman Dave Bullard.
The theme they're celebrating this year is the Bounty and Pride of New York. A big part of that, Bullard says, is the new Taste of New York initiative you'll find right inside the gates.
Bullard said, "It brings together all the things that we've been doing as a fair for years. We've been showing off the food that we make, the food that we grow, animals and such. This brings all of that together under one major umbrella."
Immediately after opening to the public, the free samples of local products were a popular option. These are the same businesses the governor and Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy have been bolstering, from beer to all other agricultural markets.
"And there are fellow New Yorkers who are supporting their families and paying their mortgages and putting kids through college based on that as support. So it's a source of pride," Duffy said.
As Duffy made the rounds, he made sure to encourage the younger generation in the agriculture industry, stopping to chat with Future Farmers of America.
Duffy said, "So I just was telling them that as an old person running, I need to have a recovery after that and there's really nothing better than chocolate milk."
He also got the ball rolling on the financial support, buying his own piece of the Bounty and Pride of the state.
"It's a great way to help businesses here to produce these products, create a new customer base," said Duffy.
Fair organizers are hoping this year's fair is more bountiful all around. They increased their marketing budget to boost attendance after what was widely considered an off year last year.