July 2019



Beginning in 2020, the York Fair will not only have new dates but will also be sporting a new name.  The York County Agricultural Society Board of Directors voted last week to change the name of the annual event to the York State Fair.

“We are as big as many state fairs across the country in terms of attendance, entries, entertainment, amusement rides, facilities, staffing and budget so the question became why not recognize ourselves as a state fair level event by calling ourselves the York State Fair,” said CEO Bryan Blair.  “With the Fair changing dates to July in 2020 it seemed like a perfect time to make the transition and to rebrand.  We will still be known as “America’s First Fair” and “America’s Oldest Fair” we will just have a new look and a new name,” he added.

Currently there are at least 63 Fairs across the United States that use the phrase “State Fair” in their title.   Blair said that approximately 42 of those events are private and/or non-profit organizations that receive no government funding or state oversight.   Fairs such as the Tulsa State Fair in Oklahoma and the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair in Louisiana are privately operated and utilize the name of their city.   “We intend to be York’s “State Fair” and we will continue to operate under the authority of the York County Agricultural Society.

“We are actively exploring ways to expand and grow the Fair to include showcasing York County to south central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland as we attempt to reach a regional audience.  The goal is to create interest and excitement among the growing population of this region so that we can showcase to them the best that York County has to offer from an agricultural and industrial standpoint.  Changing the name of the Fair to the York State Fair will certainly help us to achieve that goal as it better represents the size and scope of our event,” said Blair.

The new logo was designed by Fair Communications Director Brianna Holmes and features red, white and blue colors along with pennant that has the 1765 founding date of the Fair and a blue ribbon that will boast the “America’s First Fair” and “America’s Oldest Fair” trademarks.   “Both of those phrases are trademark protected which means that we will be using both versions of the new logo in order to meet the trademark requirements,” said Holmes.

Holmes added that the announcement of the change to York State Fair is being made now to help promote the date change next year.   “We want to remind everyone who attends the 2019 York Fair September 6th-15th that we are moving the dates to July in 2020 and promoting our new name to help people remember the new dates as well,” she concluded.

Apple Automotive Partners with York Fair

Apple Automotive Customer Appreciation Day at 2019 York Fair

July 2019 – The York Fair is announcing a new partnership with Apple Automotive Group that will result in an exciting gate promotion at the 2019 event.

On Tuesday, September 11th, the Fair will host Apple Automotive Group Customer Appreciation Day.  During this day, anyone who has an Apple Automotive Group vehicle or anyone who brings a receipt from Apple Automotive will get free admission for everyone in the vehicle and free parking at the York Fair.

“We are very excited about this new partnership with one of York County’s most prominent businesses, the Apple Automotive Group, and we look forward to welcoming Apple Automotive cars and customers to the Fair on Tuesday, September 11th,” said York Fair CEO Bryan Blair.  “We are also looking forward to hosting Apple Automotive Group employees throughout the Fair as a part of this Partnership,” he added.

Each year the York Fair offers free or reduced admission on numerous days. For example, in years past some of the special days have been Emergency Services Appreciation Day, Senior Citizens Day, or Dollar Day. These days offer the Fair a chance to give recognition to its various partners and fair guests. These special days are only just one of the many things that fairgoers can look forward to when it comes to the York Fair.

The York Fair runs from Friday, September 6th until Sunday, September 15th and additional promo days will be announced soon.


Bobcat of York Sponsors Grandstand Stage at York Expo Center

July 2019 – The Grandstand Stage at the York Expo Center has a new name coming this year with having a new sponsor, Bobcat of York.  Just in time for the 2019 York Fair the stage is being renamed the “Bobcat of York Grandstand Stage”.  The agreement, reached in late June, secures the naming rights of the stage through 2022.

“We are very excited to welcome Bobcat of York as a new partner to the York Expo Center and the York Fair,” said CEO Bryan Blair.  “Not only will you see Bobcat equipment becoming more prevalent on our grounds but you’re also going to notice large signage that will clearly identify Bobcat of York as the sponsor of the Grandstand Stage,” he added.

Owned by Greg McGrew, Bobcat of York has a showroom located on North Sherman Street just off US 30 in York and offers a wide variety of construction equipment for sale or rent. “The Tradition of the York Fair is strong in this region and we are excited to provide the equipment needs for the facility, and to display examples of the equipment we provide for York County throughout the Fairgrounds year round for the many visitors that attend all events at the Fairgrounds and Expo Center. We strive to be long-lasting in the community just as the Fair has been and feel this is a great way to support the community and market our products and services,” said McGrew.

The Bobcat of York Grandstand Stage will be home to our various head liners that we have coming to perform at the 2019 York Fair, and future performers in the years to come.  This year, the Bobcat of York Grandstand Stage will host headliners such as, Brad Paisley, Darci Lynne and Friends, Bethel Music, Brantley Gilbert, Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels, Tesla, Jackyl, Kix and more! Be sure to visit our website https://yorkfair.org for more information regarding everything happening on the newly named, Bobcat of York Grandstand Stage throughout the fair week, September 6th-15th!

# # #

Media Contact only:
Brianna Holmes
Communications Director
York Fair & York Expo Center
(717)-848-2596 ext. 142


Recently we have made some changes to our Sponsorship program which I believe will prove very beneficial to not only the upcoming York Fair and the York Expo Center, but also to our Sponsors and Partners.

When I arrived last August and started in my role as Chief Operating Officer, I noticed several areas that we could improve and enhance which I wanted to work towards as Chief Executive Officer at the beginning of this year. With my background in Sponsorships after spending six years in that department at the Kentucky State Fair, to say that I have an affinity for the Sponsorship process would be an understatement.   I have seen and experienced firsthand how successful Sponsorships can be for both our events and facilities along with the success it can bring to businesses and industries who seek a solid return on investment to be a Sponsor.

For the last several years, primarily due to staffing concerns, the York Expo Center has contracted with a couple of different outside companies to recruit, activate and maintain relationships with Sponsors.   One thing that was apparent to me after living in York County for the last several months is that the York Fair/York Expo Center must handle our Sponsorships/Partnerships on a local level to provide almost a “hometown” approach and feel to serving our Sponsors on a local, regional and even national level.

Before I go much farther with a few announcements regarding this change, allow me to explain a basic definition of what Sponsorship is and how it is different from a donation. The best definition of a Sponsorship is a critical source of funding for all kinds of events where companies, nonprofits and small businesses give a certain amount of cash, merchandise or services I exchange for both visibility and brand awareness at an event.   In other words, the Sponsor pays a fee (either in cash or trade) which is used to help offset the cost of the event or facility operation. In return the Sponsor gets advertising on the Expo Center grounds and also access to the 500,000 guests who attend the Fair or the 2,000,000 people who come through the Expo Center grounds all year.

By contrast, a donation is simply the gift of cash, services or merchandise typically with no expectation of visibility or brand awareness at an event.  Most donations are made by individuals, some of whom prefer to remain anonymous.  However, all donations are eligible for a tax receipt since we are a 501(c)(3) organization. For fairs, events or facilities, Sponsorships and Donations can greatly help offset the tremendous costs of producing events or maintaining facilities.  Each year we build a budget based on projected expenses and revenues and as part of that we include Sponsorships.

Currently, we have two kinds of Sponsorships that we are able to offer.  Event Sponsorships revolve around the Fair itself.  These types of Sponsorships may be for an area of the Fair such as the Ag Education Center, a show at the Fair such as Kachunga & the Alligator, a Day at the Fair which often involves free or reduced gate admission for all Fair guests or some other asset such as the back of concert or admission tickets.  In exchange for the Sponsorship fee, or merchandise/service trade there are benefit packages that are included for the Sponsor as well.  These benefits are negotiated individually with each sponsor but can include admission tickets, concert tickets, exhibit space, advertising and more. The other type of Sponsorship we offer are Facility Naming Rights.  Buildings on the Expo Center grounds such as the Arena, Grandstand Stage, Memorial Hall and others currently have or have had Naming Rights affiliated with them.  This type of Sponsorship is usually a multi-year arrangement which gives the Sponsor recognition and benefits all year long.

Since we moved our Sponsorship Department back in-house, our Director of Business Development, Cody Cashman, is in charge of managing these relationships.  In the coming days we will be announcing two new major Fair Sponsors that we have signed in the last two weeks.  We also have a couple of additional deals that have been made for Fair Sponsors that we are awaiting contract signatures before announcing.  There were a few other Sponsorships that were secured prior to these changes which will be announced soon too.  We are also working on some Naming Rights deals that we hope to soon release details on as well. While it may sound like that we are doing well, we still have plenty of space for more Sponsors.  In fact, we are well below where we’d like to be and quite honestly where we should be for a fair/facility our size.  We are entering the final stretch of recruiting Sponsors for the 2019 York Fair and our number one goal is providing our Sponsors with excellent customer service all while helping them achieve a solid return on investment.

I believe these changes are going to grow our Sponsorships to all new levels, particularly since we are going to be making some positive changes with the York Fair in the near future.  So if you are affiliated with a business or organization that you think would benefit from being an event sponsor or a naming rights sponsor, I encourage you to give us a call at 717-848-2596 and ask for Cody or email him at ccashman@yorkexpo.org.  We look forward to talking with you and exploring the ways that we can partner with you.

Next month, we will be just outside a month away from the 2019 York Fair and I’ll use the August blog to update you on a lot of different things ranging from Promotional Days to midway rides to new foods and exhibits that you’ll find September 6-15th at the 254th York Fair!

Until next month, may all your days be Fair days!

Bryan Blair
Chief Executive Officer
York Fair/York Expo Center
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