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Syracuse Winter Fair 2023

Talking with Steve Becker, owner and president of Premier Promotions (https://premierpromo.com/), which produces the Syracuse Winter Fair, I came away with a few important things to share with our readers about the fair, and Premier Promotions. “Where else can you get Pizze Fritte in the winter?”

“It’s not too late to get involved as a vendor for this year’s Winter Fair.”

“Onondaga County will be presenting the Winter Fair Fireworks on Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 9:30pm by the Expo Center.”

And, probably most significantly, “The Winter Fair is all about community, and making memories.”

Just reviewing the lineup of sponsors already involved in this year’s Winter Fair will convince you that, indeed, the Winter Fair is something heartily embraced by the Syracuse and Central New York community. Presenting sponsor, the Maguire Family of Dealerships, heads up a long list of sponsors eager to take part in an event that will no doubt be on every family’s calendar for years to come. In its inaugural year in 2019, Becker tells me, the fair drew thirty-thousand visitors. 

New to the scene, of course, is Amazon – with its massive distribution center and welcomed presence here in the area. And Amazon is happy to be the sponsor of The Amazon Winter Fair Stage. Noted Amazon’s Irann Hafeez, general manager of the Liverpool SYR1 fulfillment center, “At Amazon, we are all about delivering smiles and we know Winter Fair brings a lot of smiles to the Central New York community. We are proud to sponsor this event and celebrate all of the great things the region has to offer – including the exciting music acts that will be performing on the Amazon Winter Fair Stage.”

Music performers on the stage will include Paul Davie with a Beatles tribute, Letiza, and the blues/rock group The Ripcords, Austin Jimmy Murphy, the duo of Colin Aberdeen and Joe Altier, classic rock with the Barndogs, and the funk, pop and R&B band, Brass Inc., 5 to Life, and the legendary R&B/funk/soul group, the Brownskin. And keep an eye on the Winter Fair website – Becker cautions me that there are always more surprises in the works.

There will also be a band competition on Saturday, February 4, from 1pm to 2:30pm.

The competition will be a pep band format with 10 to 15 students from each high school participating. So far the schools participating include Liverpool, Henniger and ESM. We anticipate another three schools participating. 

The grand prize will be $500 to the winning band along with unlimited midway ride wristbands for the band members. The runner-up will receive $250, 3rd place $100, 4th, 5th and 6th place will be awarded $50 each.

The Winter Fair is the brainchild of promoter Steve Becker, working with Winter Fair associate promoter Allen LaVenture. Becker boasts a long career in media, including a lot of radio, on air, promotions, and even launching a station or two. After starting his own promotions company back in the late 90’s, and getting involved in such projects as Jazz in the City and the Small Business Show – SOHO Syracuse along with event management for such events as the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival, the New York State Rhythm and Blues Festival, Taste of Syracuse, Parade of Homes and the Syracuse International Film Festival, Becker was kicking around ideas and wondered what it would be like to create an “indoor State Fair.” While he stresses that the Winter Fair is its own enterprise, not related to the New York State Fair, Winter Fair goers will enjoy many of the things that make the summer Fair so beloved. Naturally, there will be all that delicious “fair food” we enjoy, but the Fair also offers entertainments like Native American dance, Irish dance, Gospel Sunday, a fashion show, and a stage with music and entertainment.

And then there will be games, prizes, and yes – indoors – rides! The Mini-Midway rides will include Roc-o-Plane, the Scrambler, the Spider, Giant Slide, the Sea Ray, Merry-Go-round, Clown-Around Fun House and new this year will be the family Dragon Coaster! Plus more to come. Oh, and you will be ushered into the Expo Center by Ice Sculptures, sponsored by WellNow Urgent Care, just to remind you that snow isn’t just for shoveling!

As we talked, I noted to Becker that the post-holiday lull can be really challenging here in our area of long winters, but with an upbeat attitude that explains his lengthy record of successful promotions, Becker was quick to point out that that was exactly the point: “The Winter Fair gives people something to look forward to, and just as importantly, make those memories to look back on and enjoy all over again.”

Equally important to Becker is that idea of community – and Premier Promotions works with a number of local organizations to help them generate revenue by sharing areas of the Winter Fair’s profits. “The Carol Baldwin Foundation, the NAACP will be checking coats, and The Price Chopper/Market 32 Winter Fair Hoops will be back with attendees shooting baskets and winning prizes for donations to the Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse through the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation.”

So, go ahead and enjoy the holidays, knowing that when that excitement dies down, the decorations are packed away, the Christmas cookies are all devoured, there’s something special to look forward to and plan for: February, and Winter Fair 2023!

Thanks to this year’s patrons and sponsors!

Presenting: Maguire, Family of Dealerships

Fireworks: Onondaga County

Stage: Amazon

Community: City of Syracuse, Visit Syracuse

Healthcare Village: UnitedHealth Care

Ice Sculpture: WellNow Urgent, A-Verdi Storage Containers

Music: Bud Light Seltz

Midway: Main Event Amusements

Food Court: Villa Pizze Fritte

Winter Fair Hoops: Price Chopper/Market 32, Colonial Laundromats,  D’Arcangelo CPAs

Patron: Karate John, Bass Pro Shops, Kiki’s Authentic Greek Cuisine, ServPro of Western Onondaga, Humana

Radio Promotional Partner: Cumulus Media – 93Q, 95X, Score 1260 & SGNL

Media: WCNY, Table Hopping Media, Park Outdoor, Eagle News, CNY Latino, CNY Business Journal

Wine: Ashley Lynn

Hotel: Marriot Syracuse Downtown

RV: Seven O’s

Sign: Charles Signs

Syracuse Winter Fair 2023


The NYS Fair Expo Center

Friday, February 3 through Sunday, February 5, 2023

Advanced Tickets:

$5 adults ; $3 for teens/pre-teens and seniors

Children 10 and under free


$7 adults; $5 for teens/pre-teens and seniors

Children 10 and under free


Free for all advanced ticket holders. If tickets are purchased at the box office after 7pm, admission free, parking $10.

Nancy Roberts