Voting underway to pick 13 national anthem singers for the 2019 Great New York State Fair

Judges narrow entrants to 20 finalists from across New York and three other states

Online voting has begun to find the 13 performers who will sing the national anthem at the 2019 Great New York State Fair. Judges reviewed video submissions from applicants to narrow the list to 20 semi-finalists. People can visit the contest site on the Fair’s Facebook page, here, to cast a vote. Voting ends Aug. 1.

The 20 contestants come from nine New York state counties and one borough of New York City, as well as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. Oneida County leads all areas with four entrants, while three come from Onondaga County and two from Westchester County. Oswego, Tompkins, Orange, Chemung, Jefferson and Dutchess counties and Staten Island have one contestant each.

Three of the contestants are performing the anthem instrumentally.

“I’m thrilled to see people from all over the state and from our neighboring states competing this year,” said Troy Waffner, Fair Director. “It’s so important to start our day with ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ It reminds us that fairs are tied to the long history of our country and gives us all a reason to stop for a moment and recall what’s best about America.”

The 13 entrants with the most votes will be chosen to sing the national anthem live on the Chevy Court stage each day during the Fair at approximately 9:55 a.m. to open the day’s activities. They receive free admission and parking passes and will be contacted by the Fair to set their performance date. Winners performing Aug. 22 through 25 will also be asked to sing the Canadian national anthem for the Fair’s Canadian Friendship Days. Performers may also be asked to sing at certain special events.

Approximately 400 people and groups of all ages and from all corners of the state have entered the competition since it began in 2015.

Semi-finalists include:

  • Sandie James – Milford, Conn.
  • Robert Coad – Oswego
  • Ciara Wiggins – Rome
  • Alina Kim – Ithaca
  • Janani Casipit – Manlius
  • Nancy Quackenbush – Highland Mills
  • Sarah Vail – Horseheads
  • Joseanne Esper – Utica
  • Eunice Rivers – Jersey City, N.J.
  • Shawn Woodhouse – Lebanon, Pa.
  • Hannah Gates – Watertown
  • Larry Ballow – Staten Island
  • Matthew Gierer – Yonkers
  • Jerry Plows – New York Mills
  • Amanda Richards – Liverpool
  • Vada March – Clinton
  • Kevin Doherty – Sayre, Pa.
  • Anna Vogel – Baldwinsville
  • Marcky DiGiacomo – South Salem
  • Tracy DeLucia – Hopewell Junction

Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair is America’s third largest state fair. The Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of Governor Cuomo’s CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. Fair attendance is up more than 40% since the beginning of more than $120 million in investments, with 1.27 million people attending the Fair in 2018. The 2019 Fair runs from August 21 to September 2. Information about the Fair can be found here.

The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available here. Find the Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter and enjoy photos from the Fair on Flickr. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair atstatefairideas@agriculture.ny.gov.

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