Where else can you find a tiger, a racing pig, a hypnotist and Batman? It could only be the State Fair Meadowlands, which promises to keep patrons entertained, well-fed, and thrilled with 150 rides and attractions and over 50 food vendors daily from June 24 thru July 10.
What once took place on only six acres of land with a handful of games, food, and rides, has now expanded to 35 acres at a new location next to the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, formerly Giants Stadium.
“We see more and more families, more and more strollers coming into the fair.”— Michele Tartaglione
A family affair
“We see more and more families, more and more strollers coming into the fair – families wanting to come out and have fun,” said Michele Tartaglione, who has been producing the fair since 2003 as managing director.
The 17-day fair draws families from all over the Tri-State area. Organizers have worked to make the event accessible and anticipate up to 400,000 visitors this year.
“This year the New Meadowlands Stadium is complete. There is no traffic and no construction,” said Tartaglione.
Celebrating the silver anniversary
To recognize the 25th anniversary, Hoboken’s own television star “Buddy” Valastro, from the show “Cake Boss,” will bake a monster-sized cake that will be presented on July 2 at 7 p.m. in front of a live audience and television crews. Fair organizers are running a contest for VIP packages to meet and greet Buddy. Plans are also underway for a ribbon cutting ceremony on opening night to be attended by local and state officials.
Over 50 food vendors will offer a variety of foods including: souvlaki, heroes, Greek salads, spaghetti, pizza, lobster rolls, shrimp rolls, arepas, curly fries, and of course, a fair favorite, funnel cake with strawberries.
State Fair Meadowlands is also offering incentives and discounts as part of the new bargains for its 25th anniversary.
Some of the highlights this year are:
• The Big Cat Show – Clayton Rosaire, a cousin of Wayne Rosaire from the pig races, loves his cats and they love him. He’s got a big cat sanctuary in Florida and educates fair visitors about these amazing creatures and why they need protecting.
• Kachunga and the Alligator – Get splashed at this educational show about alligators.
• The Racing Pigs – The longest running show at the fair.
• Circus Maximus – A contemporary tent circus with trapeze acts, animal shows, and acrobats.
• Fireworks: July 3 and July 4.
• Commerford Educational Petting Zoo – Goats, sheep, camel, llama, donkeys, mini horses, ringtail limas, elephant, kangaroo, coatimundi, and pony rides.
• Batman Anti-Bullying Night – On June 29 at 8 p.m., kids get in free and learn about how to stop bullying from Batman played by a Newark Police Detective Genaro Ortiz. Batman will also appear in his Batmobile and Batcopter.
Fair hours are Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to midnight; Fridays from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m. to midnight. Special hours on July 3 and 4 are from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. On June 24, opening night, gates open at 4 p.m. This year, the fair is offering free parking Monday through Wednesday and $4 all other days, excluding July 4. On June 24, opening night, parking is just $1.
Advance tickets are on sale now through June 22 and can be bought online at www.njfair.com or by calling 973-450-1073. Special group packages are also available. Check www.njfair.com for updates on promotions and more about this year’s fair.
Adriana Rambay Fernández may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.