Events and Concerts for NYS Fair Opening Weekend

The New York State Fair is finally here! Check out the event listings

The Great New York State Fair has arrived! But not all of us are fair goers. It’s OK, because there are plenty of things to do around Central New York. To be fair, the things-to-do list has been split.

maxresdefaultThere are options for comedy tonight, through Saturday evening. Tonight, CNY Jazz Central is featuring Salt City Improv showcase featuring long and short-form improv as well as stand-up. On Friday, Syracuse Improv Collective is holding another unique Shot Clock show, live in Armory Square. Jim Gaffigan is headlining the Grandstand at the Fair.  On Saturday, The CNY Playhouse features Syracuse-born nationally-known comedian Moody McCarthy as he headlines the final night of the Cuse Comedy Showcase.

As for music, The Skaneateles Festival continues; The Ridge Golf Club is hosting Ridgestock, a dedication to the original Woodstock, featuring classic renditions from local musicians; and Eric Church, Everclear and Rick Springfield — among many others — will be performing on various stages throughout the fairgrounds.

So, what are your plans?


Weather Forecast


Temperature:  70 degrees / 53 degrees
Conditions: The forecast says rain, but…


Temperature: 78 degrees / 58 degrees
Conditions: Shine in the sun.


Temperature: 82 degrees / 63 degrees
Conditions: A cluster of clouds


Temperature: 84 degrees / 62 degrees
Conditions: The weather will be indecisive.


This Weekend…

Badass BBQ for the Boobies

Shelly Straub, who was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in late 2013 and completed treatment a year later, is hosting this barbecue to raise awareness and money for cancer research and the Susan G. Komen organization. She has committed herself to participating in this year’s Komen 3-Day, which is a 60-mile walk over the course of 3 days. There will be arts and crafts vendors, games, and food available for purchase from the Syracuse Food Truck Association. Straub’s slogan for the event: “What’s a good BBQ without a great rack?”

Where: Long Branch Park, 3813 Long Branch Road, Liverpool
When: Sunday, Aug. 30: 1-4 p.m.
Cost: Free admission

Cuse Comedy Championship

The First Annual Comedy Championships will be taking place at the CNY Playhouse in Shoppingtown Mall. Tonight is the final night for the series, but there will be plenty of stand up comedy evenings to come, featuring local and national talent. Yes, national. Moody McCarthy, Syracuse-born comedian, will be headline.

Headliner: Moody McCarthy

Competing Comics: Justin “Choco Bear” Jackson, Steve O’Connell, Brennan Pimpinella, Steven Rogers, Madelein Smith, Adam Stringer, Corey Smithson, John Tenace

Where: Central New York Playhouse, Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse
When: Saturday, Aug. 29: 8 p.m.
Cost: $10 (advance) | $12 (door)

Salt City Improv

“Beta Test Night” will feature a plethora of comedic acts from all around the region: stand-up, long-form improv, short-form improv.

Comics: Steve Donovan, Betsy Lee, Justin “Choco Bear” Jackson, Madelein Smith, Malcolm Whitfield, Mr. JAXN, Will Phillips

Improv: SkittleFit, Pants But Not Quite, Money Maker Monday

Where: CNY Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington St., Syracuse
When: Thursday, Aug. 27: 8 p.m.
Cost: $10

“Sweeney Todd”

If you’re craving musical theater, this is surely to satisfy your pangs. The Auburn theater production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” continues until next sweeny todd 2weekend. Performances are six days a week.

Monday: 2 p.m.
Tuesday: 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: 7:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 p.m.
Saturday: 8 p.m.

Where: Central New York Playhouse, Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse
When: Thursday, Aug. 27 – Saturday, Sept. 5
Cost: $25 – $49

Syracuse Improv Collective: Shot Clock Show

Once again, the Syracuse Improv Collective (or SIC) are returning to Armory Square for their signature and open-air Shot Clock show. For one hour, the improvisers will be creating 24-second scenes with the help from the park monument. (Feel free to count down as well.)

Where: Central New York Playhouse, Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse
When: Friday, Aug. 28: 8-9 p.m.
Cost: Free

Travers Stakes

The 146th Annual Travers Stakes has arrived. As this is a longstanding event, the website does read that traffic will be heavy, parking will be scarce, and that everyone attending should expect large crowds.  Coolers with your favorite food and drinks are welcome, but be sure to check the policies.


American Pharoah
Mix Ocean
Texas Red
Keen Ice
Tale of Verve
King of New York
Smart Transition

Where: Saratoga Race Course, 267 Union Ave., Saratoga
When: Saturday, August 29: 7 a.m
Cost: $15 (clubhouse admission) | $15 (general admission)


Weekly Fare

Downtown Get-Down

With their combined powers Modern Malt and SKY Armory will be holding their Thursday “Downtown Get-Down” to bring even more vibrancy to the Syracuse happy hour scene. Food, beverages, games and music will be included.

Where: The Alley / 321 and 351 S. Clinton St., Syracuse
When: Thursdays, August 27 – Sept. 3: 5-8 p.m
Cost: $5

Skaneateles Festival

The Finger Lakes music festival is in its second-to-last week. Shows are in the evenings and vary in times from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Thursday, Aug. 27: East Coast Chamber Orchestra, 8 p.m. (First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St.)

Friday, Aug. 28: KidsFest: Krazy Klezmer with David Krakauer, 11 a.m. (First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St.)

Friday, Aug. 28:  Pathways in Folk Music, 8 p.m. (First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St.)

Saturday, Aug. 29: East Coast Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. (Brook Farm, 2870 W. Lake Road / (rain location) Skaneateles High School, 49 E. Elizabeth St.)

View the full schedule here.

Where: Village of Skaneateles
When: Thursday, Aug. 27 – Sat. Sept. 4
Cost: Tickets available online, by phone (315-685-7417): $28 – $228 (more information)


The Festivals Continue…

Jewish Music & Cultural Festival

Originally called “KlezFest” in 2001, the the now-named Jewish Music & Cultural Festival evolved to incorporate the steadily growing festival. On Sunday, head over to the Jewish Community Center of Syracuse to celebrate the Jewish culture with arts and crafts, cultural food, live music and dancing.

Where: Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Road, Dewitt
Sunday, Aug. 30: 12-6 p.m.
Free admission


The Ridge is holding an all-day music festival dedicated to and in respect of the original Woodstock. There will be over 50 local musicians performing original Woodstock songs. The cost of a ticket will get you all-day access, a drink of your choice, and hours of musical entertainment.

Where: The Ridge Golf Club & Tavern, 1281 Salt Springs Road, Chittenango
Sunday, Aug. 30: 2-??? p.m.
$25 (individual) | $100 (for five (5) tickets)

Cowboy Monkeys Night

As the website reads: “Monkeys dressed as cowboys riding dogs, chasing goats. What is more ridiculous than that?” This simply screams awesome. Plus there are fireworks after the game, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Scooch Bobblehead.

When: Saturday, Aug. 29
Versus: Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Game: 7:05 p.m.

Family Sunday

It’s a Sunday. It’s the end of a week. It’s baseball. What a great, fun, low-key family-friendly event to ring out your weekend?

When: Sunday, Aug. 30
Versus: Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Game: 1:05 p.m.

Social Media Monday

Check out the social media of the Syracuse Chiefs for exclusive deals. After a stressful Monday, what a better evening outing to offset the stressful earlier hours? (And compliment your Sunday Chiefs outing, too. Things are better in pairs… or trios.)

When: Monday, Aug. 31
Versus: Lehigh Valley IronPigss
Game: 7:05 p.m.

To download the season schedule, CLICK HERE.


This Weekend at the Fairgrounds

All events include price of admission unless otherwise noted.

For a full list of daily events and itinerary builder, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, Aug. 27


Where: Chevy Court
When: 2 p.m.

Wurlitzer Organ 90th Birthday

Where: Empire Theater
When: 4:30 p.m.

Daily Parade

Where: Chevy Court
When: Daily: 6 p.m.

Eric Church

Where: Grandstand
7:30 p.m.

Rick Springfield

Where: Chevy Court
When: 8 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 28

Orleans w/Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Litte Feat

Where: Chevy Court
When: 2 p.m.

Daily Parade

Where: Chevy Court
When: 6 p.m.

Jim Gaffigan

Where: Grandstand
7:30 p.m.

Melissa Etheridge

Where: Chevy Court
When: 8 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 29

Dan & Shay

Where: Chevy Court
When: 2 p.m.

Daily Parade

Where: Chevy Court
When: 6 p.m.


Where: Chevy Court
8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 30

Swon Brothers

Where: Chevy Court
When: 2 p.m.

Daily Parade

Where: Chevy Court
When: 6 p.m.

Hank Williams Jr.

Where: Grandstand
7:30 p.m.

Nate Reuss

Where: Chevy Court
When: 8 p.m.

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