Family Fun at the PPG Syracuse Nationals at the New York State Fairgrounds


Disclosure: Mama Smith was given free tickets to this event. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

Syracuse Nationals

Today I took my family to the PPG Syracuse Nationals Car Show at the New York State Fairgrounds. We were all very excited to go. My daughters actually really love old cars – I am sure they get that from their father. We ended up having a really good time, despite what happened when we first arrived (read below to find out more). I used to attend car shows with my father all of the time so it was really great to experience one again; it brought back a ton of memories! There are a lot of great exhibits and the Syracuse Nationals sure makes for a great day of family fun! There is still one more day, so grab the family and go tomorrow. You will not regret it!

Syracuse Nationals

When we were picking up our tickets to go in, a volunteer (or maybe an employee but I highly doubt that) was watching our line. The woman at the will call area was looking for my tickets and apparently a minute was too long a time because the volunteer asked us to step aside and let her help everyone else in line and then she could return to helping us. We explained that she was looking for our envelope of tickets in a box that had at least 50 envelopes and he told us that there was obviously an issue and we needed to move. Keep in mind there were maybe four or five sets of people behind us – and plenty of other lines they could go to. Our entry was all worked out in a matter of another two minutes but the volunteer continued to stare at us and make sounds as we waited. He was very rude and really put my husband and I in a poor mood before entering the show. However, after just a few minutes inside the show, and our attitudes turned right around.

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The first stop for us was the Backyard Build-Off at Ol’ Skool Roundup (sponsored by Kammer Towing) and that was really cool! There were four cars to look at and we were able to vote for the one that we liked the best. The builders were given a $5,000 budget and several rules. It was amazing to see the transformation of some of these cars. My four year old loved this part and was excited that she got her very own ticket to vote how she wanted.

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We spent a lot of time just browsing tons and tons of cars – there were tens of thousands of them – it was awesome! My husband is a real Volkswagen guy so every time we passed by one, we had to inspect it. He had so much fun talking with other VW buffs about the changes they made to their cars – what was done, how, and with what. When we found the CNY VW Club – my husband had a field day! He was so excited to look at all of the Campers, Bugs – and there was even a Thing!

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The entire family had a lot of fun and if you are in the Syracuse area and are looking for something to do with the family tomorrow, I highly recommend going!

For more information on the 2015 PPG Syracuse Nationals, and a full schedule of events, or to register a vehicle for the event, call 800-753-3978 or visit or “Like” Syracuse Nationals on Facebook and follow @syracusenats on Twitter. presents “Gasoline Alley” Nostalgic Race Car Exhibit
The Horticulture Building will become “Gasoline Alley” again this year, displaying more than 40 vintage race cars. In addition, the Frantic Ford Mustang funny car will be parked in front of the building and special guest “Jungle Pam” Hardy, who famously toured with drag racing’s wild child “Jungle Jim” Liberman in the 1970s, will meet and greet fans.

“Heidts Driving Experience Autocross”
Returning to this year’s PPG Syracuse Nationals show is the autocross track. Owners with vehicles registered in the PPG Syracuse Nationals and a valid driver’s license will be able to test their skills on an autocross course set up between Gates 10 and 11 throughout the weekend.

“Backyard Build-Off at Ol’ Skool Roundup” sponsored by Kammer Towing
The third annual “Backyard Build-Off” will take place at the 2015 PPG Syracuse Nationals. The event will feature a car build-off involving four builders with a $5,000 budget, including: Jared Walker, of Lebanon, New Hampshire; Mark Walantus, of Morrisville, New York; Jennifer Gilfus-Leone, of Weedsport, New York; and Bryan Jones, of Fairport, New York. The four builders will unveil their never-before-seen creations at 10 a.m. Friday, July 17 in the Ol’ Skool Rodz building near Gate 10. The winner will be decided by popular voting by spectators and car owners at the Nationals and will be announced on Saturday, July 18.

“Million Dollar Garage” – Winfield Award presented by Meguiar’s
One car owner at the 2015 PPG Syracuse Nationals will receive the Sixth Annual Winfield Award presented by Meguiar’s. The prestigious award for automotive excellence will be presented by master car customizer and builder Gene Winfield. The winner will receive a custom trophy, a jacket and $10,000. The five runners-up will each receive a custom trophy, a jacket and $1,000.

“Artie’s Party” featuring pinstripers’ panel jam – presented by 1 Shot Company
Inside the Horticulture Building, pinstripe and airbrush artists at the pinstripers’ panel jam, known as “Artie’s Party,” work almost around the clock during the PPG Syracuse Nationals to hand-paint original automotive artwork on items of all kinds, from vehicle panels to skateboards to mailboxes. The one-of-a-kind items are then auctioned throughout the weekend, with this year’s proceeds benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. The nonprofit organization serves as a “home away from home” for families whose children are hospitalized with serious illnesses or injuries. Last year, “Artie’s Party” raised more than $73,000 for the charity.


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