As the New York State Fair comes to a close for the 2013 season, YNN's Sarah Blazonis spoke with some exhibitors who say they are already looking forward to next year.
NEW YORK STATE FAIR -- At first glance, the Dairy Goat Barn may seem like home to just the animals, but that's not the case. The hundreds of farmers and exhibitors take up temporary residence inside the fairgrounds.
"We look forward to coming to the fair every single year. I know people think it's crazy to stay here, but we put out our cots at night. We sit out front, we watch people go by," said Shannon Stevens, a Jordan resident.
Stevens has camped out at the fair for nearly 35 years. For families like hers, turning an exhibit into a home away from home has become a science.
They pack simple foods that can be made in the crockpot, and pack clothing and bedding that can easily be stored.
Mathias and Carol Frey began their stay at the fair 47 years ago. They say it's more convenient than commuting everyday, even without some of the conveniences of home.
"We've done everything from sleeping on cots, sleeping on the floor on the foam rubber, sleeping on bales of hay," explained Mathias Frey, a Cicero resident.
Fair officials say hundreds of people camp out at the fair every year.
"You'll see families here who have done this for four or five generations, showing their animals, and you know, it benefits them because if these are prize winning animals, they're worth something, too, at the end of the day," explained Troy Waffner, New York State Fair Assistant Director.
According to exhibitors, the best part is the sense of community they have developed over the years.
"I was seven when I started doing this, and now my children are growing up doing this. We make friendships that last forever, and actually my husband and I were introduced to each other here when we were seven," remembered Stevens.