Archive for February, 2014

When Jenny Horses were on Parade

Friday, February 28th, 2014

In 1958 the Genesee Brewery sponsored a hitch featuring four pure-bred Lipizzans horses. Twice daily the team paraded around the Erie County Fairgrounds pulling the brewery’s “Jenny” advertising personality in a carriage that once belonged to Emperor Franz Josef of Austria. The Lipizzans were bred and raised at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, and were part of a group purchased by Louis Wehle, Chairman of the Board of The Genesee Brewing Co., Inc.



Bazaar History

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The Bazaar Building, located across the racetrack opposite the Grandstand, has been a fixture on the ground of the Erie County Fair for 110 years. Originally built in 1904, the building has stayed true to its original constructed purpose to house merchandise vendors and displays. Everything from vacuum cleaners and cleaning supplies to the latest “slice & dice” gadgets can be found inside the Bazaar Building. Other old buildings on the grounds include the Octagon Building (built 1885), the front of the Historical Building (built 1885) and the Mr. Vernon Building (built 1899)

Bazaar Building

Home & Garden Show Returns

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

home show


The WNY Home & Garden Expo will return to the Fairgrounds Event Center for the ninth season. The four day event will welcome

more than 150 vendors offering the highest quality windows, doors, kitchens, baths, landscaping and contracting. Have the opportunity to talk to the experts about your next home improvement project. 

Stop into Expo Hall to see one of the many events on the main stage. The Wine and Food Garden will be providing samples from regional wineries and food vendors. Guests can tour the Twin Lakes, fully decorated and landscaped, model home. There will be seminars throughout the show. Celebrity designer Taniya Nayak from HGTV and the Food Network will be on hand greeting fans and hosting seminars.

On Saturday and Sunday the kids can take part in the all new Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics.


Tickets to the show are $7 at the door and $6 online. Parking is FREE. 

Show times are hours are as follows: 

Thursday, February 20: 2pm until 8pm

 Friday, February 21: 2pm until 8pm

Saturday, February 22: 10am until 8pm

Sunday, February 23: 11am until 5pm

Meet Our Newest Creative Arts Director…

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

…Rachel Hamerski


T20140123_fashion_rachel_218he Creative Arts Exhibit at the Erie County Fair showcases the best of what WNY has to offer when it comes to canning, painting, photography, flower arranging and design. Every year the hardworking Creative Arts Directors strive to put a new spin on their areas of expertise to ensure the pieces are well displayed and the talented artists are highlighted properly.

In 2014, the Fair will welcome a fresh face to the list of Creative Arts Directors. Buffalo State College senior, Rachel Hamerski will join the group as the director for the Clothing Design and Construction Department. Though she is still in school, Hamerski, is well suited for the job ahead. She was recently selected as one of five students nationwide to be accepted into the Cotton University, which is a program developed by Cotton Incorporated.

Hamerski found a passion for fashion through college coursework, when she created a couture dress from 30 yards of zipper chain. From then on she has been exhibiting her creative ideas and sewing skills throughout the country…that’s right…the dress went on to be exhibited at Cotton Incorporated Headquarters in Cary, North Carolina!

Her love for the Fair began in 2011, when she first heard about the clothing design and construction category of Creative Arts.  She has been entering dresses ever since.

When asked what her most prized design is, Hamerski said it is a black and white houndstooth women’s jacket. Though she could not enter it in the 2013 fair (because it was being used for a fashion show) she looked forward to entering it in 2014. That was until Elaine Ellis, previous director of the section, got her interested in stepping up and taking her place as the new director.Hamerski_Photo

Though she won’t be able to exhibit her designs at this year’s Fair, Hamerski is looking forward to bringing a new approach, new categories and a modern display to the clothing design and construction department. Looking ahead to 2015, Hamerski is hoping to incorporate a fashion show into the Fair too!

If she could offer advice to those looking to enter a design into the Fair or pursue a career in clothing design, Hamerski says “one entry at a time will help you become the best in your craft. It helps to listen to the criticism and feedback from any avenue.”

If you are interested in entering in any of the 2014 Creative Arts categories, look for entry information beginning May 2!

The Olympics? At the Fair?

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Not exactly…Fred Kenney brought his Official Motor Olympics to the Fair in ’57. The roster included performers who hailed from countries around the world and 1956 “Stunt Man of the Year” Bill Ward. Ward’s car was shot out of a canon traveling 85 feet over the track. Two sold out Grandstand shows were accompanied by a parade of new 1957 Fords provided by West Herr Motors.



Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

…until the gates open for the 175th Erie County Fair. 

Get ready Erie County, the countdown to the 175th Erie County Fair is kicking into high gear. With only 175 days to go until opening day prepare yourself for exciting announcements, updates and giveaways.

Part of our countdown is a interactive social media piece “Think Fair Thoughts.” It is an opportunity for our millions of fairgoers to share their memories, stories, and photos via our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Here is your chance to join the countdown and become part of what will be a community compilation of everything great about the Erie County Fair.  Social media users are encouraged to post using the #ThinkFairThoughts.

Everyday through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram the Fair will post a “Thought of the Day” from  now until Opening Day.


Keep in touch with the Erie County Fair through social media and our website for all the latest.

See you at the Fair…August 6-17, 2014 

175 DAYS!

Hey Jude…Guess Who is Coming Back to the Fair?

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

February 9th marked the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles arriving to the United States. The band was greeting with an overwhelming reception of Americans who were craving their music and catchy lyrics. The 2014 Grammy’s featured Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and just this weekend a two hour prime-time feature paid tribute to the music of the Beatles. Top musicians from all genres came memorialize what could be argued as the greatest band of all time.

To celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Erie County Fair as well as pay tribute to the 50 year celebration of The Beatles, The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute will return to the grounds for a free concert on August 12, 2014 at 7:30pm. The young and the young at heart can travel Back to the U.S.S.R., take a ride on a Yellow Submarine, and Let it Be the perfect ending to a day at the Fair.


“The best Beatles show in the world”- LA Times

The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute has traveled the world keeping the memory and music of The Beatles alive and well. The nostalgia of the music combined with the energy of the band makes this a show you will not want to miss.  The group was formed in 1997 and has since done countless shows, specials, and appearances in honor of John, Ringo, Paul and George.

Mark your calendar… August 12, 2014 at 7:30pm in the Gusto Grandstand at the Erie County Fair, The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute sponsored by Hamburg Gaming. Hamburg Gaming 4C BR FG


Ag- Grange: Growing Strong

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

The Agricultural Grange Building represents an annual commitment to the primary mission for which the Erie County Agricultural Society was established in 1820. Each year, the bounty of the land and the efforts of those who cultivate its soil are celebrated in this building built in 1964. Located in Slade Park, the structure was said to be one of the finest such fair exhibit buildings in the United States at the time of construction. In 1989 a mural celebrating the Fair’s 150th Anniversary, painted by the late Bill Browing of the States Shows, was erected inside.



Erie County Fair and Hamburg Gaming Scholarships Now Available

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The Erie County Fair and Hamburg Gaming will award up to $20,000 in scholarships this June.

Scholarships are given to high school seniors or college students who have participated in the Erie County Fair. Participation can be in exhibiting, marching band, employment or volunteering. The scholarships are open to all students and are based on participation. Students who are pursuing an agricultural career choice will be given additional consideration.

Applications must be completed and returned no later than April 11, 2014. 

For more information and to download the scholarship application, click here.