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The Great New York State Fair Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Brisket Contest One of Several New Culinary
Competitions at the 2017 Great New York State Fair
Also New This Year: Cooking Competitions Using New York Cheese and Apples
Registration Now Open for Dozens of Competitions, From the Arts to Agriculture
The Great New York State Fair
Syracuse, NY – June 2017 / Newsmaker Alert / Your recipe for barbecued brisket might be great, but is it the best in New York State? A contest to find the best brisket in the state is one of several new culinary competitions for amateur cooks at the 2017 Great New York State Fair, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner announced Wednesday (June 14). Sponsored by New York’s famous Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurants, the Barbecued Brisket competition will take place on the Fair’s new Preview Day, Wednesday, August 23. The contest offers $200 for best brisket. Second and third place will receive prizes of $100 and $50 gift cards to the restaurant, as well as a barbecue sauce caddy and apron. A second competition offers similar prizes for the top three recipes for barbecued beans.

The Fair and several sponsors are also debuting new cooking competitions using some of New York’s top agricultural products, such as cheese and apples. In addition, the Hunter & Hilsberg Jam & Jelly Contest will expand its contest with brand new categories as part of the 13-day Wegmans Culinary Competition.

“The State Fair is a showcase for the very best of New York. Our competitions offer everyone a chance to show their skills and creativity. It’s always exciting to look through the various competitions, ranging from the arts to agriculture, and see the tremendous level of talent in our state. I encourage everyone to consider entering a competition this year,” said Waffner.

“Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is excited to partner with the Great New York State Fair to find the best barbecued brisket and beans in the state,” said John Stage, founder of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. “We have always been a big supporter of everything New York and love showcasing that New York can offer some genuine Bar-B-Que as well.

Additional Culinary Competitions
Also on August 23, fairgoers will have a chance to participate in a new competition involving salads. Competitors will use New York vegetables or fruits to prepare their favorite salads, adding other ingredients as necessary. Judges will taste the salads but fairgoers visiting the Wegmans Demonstration Kitchen in the Art & Home Center will be able to see and vote on the appearance of the salads as part of the overall judging.

The New York Apple Association joins the Fair’s roster of culinary competitions with its new Creative Apple Pie competition on Tuesday, August 29. Pies will be judged on appearance, taste, and the quality of the crust. All pies must be made with New York apples. The top prize is $100.

The New York State Cheese Manufacturers Association is sponsoring two new competitions using New York State cheese. Top prizes of $100 will go to the amateur cooks creating the best appetizer and best entrée using at least one cup of cheese.

A competition that began last year will grow this year. The jam and jelly competition, sponsored by the Syracuse gourmet foods supplier Hunter & Hilsberg, will seek to find the best watermelon jam or jelly and the best savory jam or jelly.

Culinary competitions are open only to New York residents who are not professional cooks. The full schedule of competitions is:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 23: Salads; Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Contest
  • Thursday, Aug. 24: Canned Foods Day; Wilton Cake Decorating Award
  • Friday, Aug. 25: Hunter & Hilsberg Jam & Jelly Contest; Empire State Potato Growers Club Contest
  • Saturday, Aug. 26: Practically Homemade Contest; King Arthur Flour Contest
  • Sunday, Aug. 27: Cookie Day
  • Monday, Aug. 28: Cake Day
  • Tuesday, Aug. 29: Pie Day; Chocolate Day; New York Apple Association, Inc. Creative Apple Pie Contest
  • Wednesday, Aug. 30: NYS Maple Producers Association Contest
  • Thursday, Aug. 31: New Hope Mills Contest; New York State Cheese Manufacturers Contest
  • Friday, Sept. 1: Bread Day; Red Star Yeast Contest
  • Saturday, Sept. 2: Especially for Youth Under 16 Day; Five Ingredients or Less Day
  • Sunday, Sept. 3: Great American Spam Championship; Spam Kid Chef Contest
  • Monday, Sept. 4: Grand Competition
Registration ends July 3.

New York State Fair Competitions
Culinary is one of more than 50 classes of competitions open to all New Yorkers during the 2017 Fair. Other classes of competition include agricultural shows in flowers, livestock, and farm products; the annual youth talent showcase; fine arts competitions that showcase talents in photography, painting and drawing, poetry, quilting, and more. Registration for most competitions is open now. Information and links to online entry forms can be found at In 2016, more than 3,000 people entered State Fair competitions.

About the Great New York State Fair
The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 23 to September 4, 2017. The Fair’s mission, reflected in its theme, “Find Your Great...,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gate— the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation. Renderings can be viewed here.

A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

Media Contacts:
Jola Szubielski
Public Information Officer
NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets

Dave Bullard
Public Relations
New York State Fair
315-487-7711 x 1377

Publishing Dates: 06/20/17 – 08/20/17
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