SYRACUSE — Despite the coronavirus canceling The Great New York State Fair this year, American Dairy Association North East is teaming up with the state fair to bring the annual butter sculpture to life.

A longstanding tradition and one of the most recognizable attractions of the state fair, the 800-pound butter sculpture will officially be unveiled Sept. 1, during a livestream at 10 a.m. on American Dairy Association North East’s Facebook page.

“Most people are looking for some normalcy during this time of uncertainty. So, we are happy to announce that there will be a butter sculpture this year,” said dairy farmer Lynn Murray, of Murcrest Farms, Copenhagen. “It’s unfortunate that annual fair enthusiasts won’t be able to experience the 52nd annual butter sculpture up close and in person as they have in the past, but everyone will be able to view this year’s sculpture virtually.”

The sculptor duo, Jim Victor and Marie Pelton, who have created every butter sculpture at the state fair since 2003, will construct this year’s sculpture in approximately 10 days.

Great New York State Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “We know how much the fair means to New Yorkers and while we’re busy planning the greatest fair in our history for 2021, we are grateful to our longtime partners at American Dairy Association North East for creating an important part of the Fair in a difficult year.”

Long after the sculpture is deconstructed, it will continue to “give back” to the community. The “scrap butter” used for the sculpture — which means it’s unsuitable for sale or consumption — will be transported to a local dairy farm where it will be recycled in a methane digester to create electricity.

There will also be additional opportunities for fair enthusiasts to engage with American Dairy Association North East’s Virtual 2020 Fair:

Five people will win unprecedented access to this year’s virtual butter sculpture. The #VirtuallyButterTogether Instagram Contest will offer five “Fairgoers” a chance to have their “Face in the Place” at the unveiling in the form of a life-size cardboard cutout — like those seen in the stands at sporting events.

To enter the contest, participants are asked to post a photo of themselves on Instagram enjoying dairy and using #VirtuallyButterTogether. All submissions must be posted by 8 a.m. on Aug. 24. In addition to “virtually attending” the event, winners will also receive free pizza for a year and a Chromebook.

For those who really want to get into the butter sculpture experience, the Great New York State Fair is sponsoring a butter sculpture contest for consumers of all ages. Participants can make a sculpture using up to five pounds of butter, sculpting wire, chicken wire and a base for stability. They then will take a picture of the sculpture and submit it at the contest site on the fair’s Facebook page. Grand prize winner receives a Lifetime Admission Medal to the fair, along with eight individual passes for the 2021 fair, a $25 gift card courtesy of Wegmans and a prize pack from media sponsor 93Q radio. There are prizes for second through fifth places. The fair is also operating contests on its Facebook page that ask for a T-shirt design for a fair that didn’t happen, that reward people who buy from the brick-and-mortar stores of fair vendors and that ask people to send in pictures of the fair they hold at home.

The New York State Fair is a celebration of the state’s agricultural industry and American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) doesn’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to interact with New York’s dairy farmers and the dairy foods normally featured at the fair. So, ADANE will host a series of virtual State Fair dairy experiences every weekday on its Facebook page. The “Virtual State Fair” begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24, continuing through Tuesday, Sept. 1, when the butter sculpture is unveiled.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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