To hold back before the extravagance next year, we thought it would be fun to go through our archives and examine fair coverage over the past 50 years.
In this slice of “State Fair Flashback”, we go back to 1982 and come back to one of the educational features offered at the fair, the House of Hazards, hosted by “Matches the Clown”.
Sure, the New York State Fair is fun, but it also has a wonderful assortment of educational exhibits.
Exhibitions on agriculture, tourism, art and history have always been popular exhibits at the state fair.
In 1982, visitors to the Fair could visit the Roosevelt Special, a traveling museum dedicated to the life of Franklin Roosevelt, an agricultural museum behind the Colosseum, and an interactive miniature golf game that taught the importance of drinking milk .
One of the most important educational exhibitions was the “House of Dangers”, located in the State Exhibition Building. Sponsored by the Syracuse Fire Department and Onondaga County Volunteer Fire Services, the popular attraction taught young people the importance of fire safety.
“The House of Dangers,” said Thomas Young, director of the state fair, “is a must not only for educating children, but also as a reminder for parents. “
The house, “located at the intersection of Fire Prevention Boulevard and Safety Street,” was, at least Elizabeth Balint of the Herald Journal hoped, the most dangerous home in all of central New York City, with risk of death. fire around every corner.
There was a wood-burning stove too close to a wall, an overloaded electrical outlet with dangerous wiring, flammable liquids stored near an open flame, and a man sleeping in his bed drinking and smoking.
“Through the House of Hazards, we hope to make children and adults more aware of fire,” said its creator Jay Seitz, lieutenant of the Office of Fire Prevention.
The exhibit was in its fifth year in 1982 and had received a major upgrade.
The Safety Cinema, a 1,500 square foot theater, gave live presentations every half hour. They were hosted by Matches the Clown and Smokey the Bear.
Tips on using a fire alarm booth, what to do in case of a fire, demonstrations of rope ladders and the proper use of smoke detectors were explained.
The children seemed to get the message.
“I think the exhibition is really worth it,” said Andrew Simco, 12, whose father was the fire chief at Mattydale. “Children must learn not to play with fire. “
“I don’t smoke and I don’t play with matches,” Greg Kacprzynski told the firefighters who watched one of the rooms. “This child shouldn’t touch the furnace.”
Do you remember the Maison des Risques? How about concerts by the Marshall Tucker Band, the Beach Boys, Barbara Mandrell or Emmylou Harris? Did you take basketball lessons with Jim Boeheim or talk to Lawrence the Talking Trout?
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This feature is part of CNY Nostalgia, a section on syracuse.com. Send your ideas and curiosities to Johnathan Croyle at [email protected] or call 315-427-3958.