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N.Y. State Fair’s Annual Butter Sculpture Depicts the New Normal this 2020




  • Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference that the New York Annual State Fair 2020 will be a full virtual experience.
  • This is in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Despite this, the Annual Butter Sculpture remained. On September 1st, the butter artwork was finished.
  • The sculpture showed a timely theme: the new normal.
  • The state government opened virtual activities and contests for the fair fans.

The third-largest state fair in the U.S., the New York State Fair, may have been postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic but the American Dairy Association kept one of its most anticipated annual tradition – presenting a Butter Sculpture for the fair fans. 

“The Great New York State Fair is a cherished tradition for which many New Yorkers build their summer vacations and travel plans around,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “Though COVID-19 has postponed our great Fair, New Yorkers have found a way to put a new spin on this 178-year long tradition to continue to virtually enjoy the Fair during these challenging times.”  

The 52nd New York State Fair butter sculpture entitled, “Nourishing Our Future” was presented at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y.

One of the fair’s most anticipated attractions, this year’s annual Butter Sculpture, was completed on September 1st inside the Dairy Products Building. Carved from 800 pounds of butter, the sculpture also has a timely theme: the new normal.   

The “new normal” carved out from 800 lbs of butter.

The new normal depicted in the butter artwork depicts two vignettes. On one side a dairy farmer giving milk to a child studying on the laptop. On the other side, there is a child in school while a school nutrition worker delivers a meal tray.

Student in school being offered a meal tray.
A student studying from home receives a bottle of milk.

In addition to the Butter Sculpture, the fair is also hosting a make-your-own butter sculpture contest for fans online through their Facebook page. There are also special events and activities to enjoy like State Fair At Home parties, virtual farm visits and food drive-thru on the fairgrounds.

Life-sized cutouts were strategically placed around upon the presentation of the Butter Sculpture.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said that though it is a difficult time, the state government is proud to share this new way of enjoying the fair.

New York State Fair Director Troy Waffner shared that they received inquiries about the fair traditions. He also promised to use this time to plan a greater fair next time.

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