Archive for the ‘2014 Erie County Fair’ Category

Erie County Fair Breaks the Top 10

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Ranking Photo

With the close of 2014 came’s list of the largest Fairs in North America. The Erie County Fair found itself in eleventh place at the end of 2013 and was hoping the 175th celebration, which drew a record attendance (1,220,101), would push the Fair up into the Top 10.

Well, like a late  Christmas present, the list was published and the Erie County Fair is excited to announce that it has moved into tenth place! The Fair is in great company inside the Top 10, with many state fairs edging ahead. The Erie County Fair finished _A7U2201Number Three for largest  county fairs in North America.

This is the first time that the Erie County Fair has received such a high ranking on this list. The Fair found itself in 19th in 2009, and has been on an upward trajectory ever since. “This historic ranking is something that the entire Buffalo-Niagara region can take pride in accomplishing,” said Jessica Underberg, Assistant Fair Manager.

Beyond receiving a Top 10 ranking, the Erie County Fair won 31 awards at the International Association of  Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) annual convention, held this past December. The IAFE  has over 2,000 members.  The Erie County Fair competes in a division with all Fairs who have an attendance 1 million or higher. This puts the Erie County Fair in a category with many state fairs.  The awards are as follows. 



1st Place – What was newly established or developed at your fair to promote agriculture

1st Place – Fair and Sponsor/Partner Joint Exhibit Program

1st Place – Printed Material

1st Place – Video of a Special or Unique Event for Exhibitors or the Fairgoing Public

1st Place – Agriculture Photo

2nd Place – Special or Specific Event for Agricultural Exhibitors

2nd Place – Special or Specific Agricultural Educational Event, Exhibit or Program for the Fairgoing Public

2nd Place – Program Designed to Correct an Issue or Problem Related/Competitive or Non-Competitive Ag Program

3rd Place – Consumer Awareness in the Agricultural Environment

3rd Place – Agriculture Photo Series- 5 photos of exhibitor with his prize winning cow



1st Place – Unique Advertising Specialties/Merchandise/Souvenirs

1st Place – Web Advertising

1st Place – Overall Mobile Campaign

1st Place – Mobile App

2nd Place – Overall Social Media Campaign

2nd Place – Misc. Marketing/Promotional Display or Piece

3rd Place – Best Marketing Campaign

3rd Place – Promotional Advertising – Outdoor

3rd Place – Television

3rd Place – Promotional Poster

3rd Place – Printed Promotional Materials

3rd Place – Commemorative Poster

3rd Place – Promotional Event



1st Place – Competitive exhibits display photo (tied)

2nd Place – General display photo

2nd Place – Display method or prop

2nd Place – New or unique division

2nd Place – Create it on the spot

2nd Place – Participatory contest

3rd Place – Unique contest

3rd Place – General display series

On behalf of the Erie County Fair, its staff, directors, and volunteers, THANK YOU WNY, for making this a must-visit summer attraction year after year! It is with your help that the Erie County Fair has grown to what it has become today, an internationally recognized event in both size and accolades. Thank you!

Fair Merchandise in Time for the Holidays

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Need to get some holiday shopping done? The Erie County Fair is excited to open up its online merchandise store yet again for 2014! There are 5 exciting products being offered this year, including the return of the 12-Day Season pass.

Happy Shopping!

1. 12-Day Pass. You asked for it , WNY and the Fair is ready to deliver. 12-day passes will be for sale again this year for the 176th Erie County Fair. The passes are available for $25* and there is a 4 per person limit. When you break it down, its only $2.08 per day at the Fair! Supplies are limited. Click here to purchase


2. DVD. Maybe you caught it on WNED when it aired in late spring, or maybe you missed it! Relive the memories of the Fair all year through with The Great Erie County Fair on DVD. The disc features bonus content, including an interview with Mr. Strates! DVDs are $10.* Click here to purchase

3. Book. The Images of America: Erie County Fair book will be for sale, at the Fairgrounds Main Office only. The supplies are very limited. However, savvy online shoppers can find the book for sale at, and The book will sell at the offices for $20.

4. Ornament. They flew off the shelves in 2014, being sold out long before Christmas 2014, so do not delay in ordering your 176th Fair ornament. The hand painted ornament features the 2015 Fair poster. The ornaments are just $15*.  Click here to purchase

5. Gift Card. The Erie County Fair gift card is the perfect gift for the Fair-natic in your life! The card can be redeemed for admission at the Fair, or cashed in for money to spend on your favorite food or shopping vendor. Gift cards are $25* Click here to purchase

All of these great items are available at the Fairgrounds Main Office- located inside the Grandstand. Sales at the Office can be made through cash or credit.

*Prices do not include shipping & handling.

Erie County Fair in National Spotlight

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The cold weather is already upon us – and it seems as though the 175th Erie County Fair is but a distant memory. However, you can relive some of the best food from the Erie County Fair, when it is featured on Cooking Channel’s Carnival Eats.

Tune in to Cooking Channel’s Carnival Eats on November 6 at 10:30pm to see if your favorite vendor will be featured!

Welcome to the Erie County Fair Blog!

Monday, October 20th, 2014

We are more than the Erie County Fair! Click on the logos below to find out more about all the fun at the Fairgrounds!

fest logosignatureFairgrounds

#ThinkMemories Photos of the Fair

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Here are 17.5 photos that sum up all the tradition, agriculture, and excitement of the 175th Erie County Fair!





















Thank you WNY for making the 175th Erie County Fair the BEST. FAIR. EVER!

See you August 12-23, 2015!

Fairgoers Do It Again…

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

…and donated more than 42,000 pounds of food to the Food Bank of WNY. Food along with cash donations will serve the Food Bank in providing more than 66,000 meals to those who need them most. 

Food Bank representatives say that Fairgoers donated over 28,000 pounds on Opening Day alone.

Along with the support of our Fairgoers, the Fair and the Food Bank of WNY would like to thank Strates Shows, Kings of Crash, and Johns_K8A0606onville Brats for their generosity in this wonderful project.

The Erie County Fair Food Drive proved to be essential in 2013 for the Food Bank in bridging the gap between the summer and holiday months, when donations are generally low. Last year’s donations were being used well into November and the Fair is excited to provide assistance to the Food Bank again this year.

The Fair is honored to help the community that has welcomed and grown with us for the past 175 years by giving back in this small but important way. However, it could not be done without the kindness and support of the Fairgoers who came out with bags of food in

their arms to help those in need within our community. Thank you to all who made this year’s Food Bank another great success.

Foodbank logo 2c-1 (3)

A Big Fair-well to the 175th Erie County Fair

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

For more than a year the 175th Erie County Fair has promised to be the “Best Fair Ever” and when gates opened on August 6, 2014 


it was time to stand and deliver.  The Fair hosted headline entertainment, exhibited livestock from throughout the northeast, awarded hundreds of ribbons, and helped WNYer’s pack on some pounds with its delicious food offerings.  After twelve days of tradition, agriculture, and excitement the Erie County Fair is proud to announce it has broken another attendance record with 1,220,101 guests coming through the gates.

 This number exceeds 2013’s record of 1,160,184.  Fair organizers believe this increase in attendance is due in part to as special events such as Wallenda Walks the Fair (August 10) and Heritage Day (August 14) alongside a yearlong Think Fair Thoughts marketing campaign.


With all its moving parts organizers will be the first to admit that it is difficult to throw a “perfect” Fair but with a lot of hard work, preparation, and fun it is safe to say the 175th edition of the Erie County Fair came pretty close.

 On behalf of the Erie County Fair, its staff, its volunteers, and its directors, thank you Western New York, for continuing to make the Fair a must see summer attraction.

Whether you come for a few hours or the full twelve days, the Fair appreciates your patronage and hopes to see you in 2015. Mark the calendars because the 2015 Fair runs August 12-23- just 357 days away!

10 Reasons Wallenda’s Erie County Fair Skywalk Could be Most Challenging Yet

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

High wire artist and daredevil Nik Wallenda will be walking over the 175th Erie County Fair on August 10, 2014. The walk will be 125 feet in the air and approximately 1350 feet long. This is the guy that walked over the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, so you may be thinking, this should be a piece of cake for Wallenda to complete. However, upon further examination of some of the walk conditions and variables you may find that this could prove to be one of Wallenda’s toughest skywalk attempts yet.

1.  BBQ Grease on the Wire. 

Horse dance on ice

With three delicious Chicken BBQ establishments going full speed below there is the threat that the smoke and grease prove to be a factor in wire walking conditions. 

2. Alligators and Tigers!

watermelon alligator gif

Yep, that’s right, alligators and tigers will be on the property where Wallenda will be walking. Sure falling into the Grand Canyon would be scary, but so would be being eaten by an alligator. 

3. The Enticing Smell of Fair Food.

Fried dough, Italian sausage, candy apples, gyro, fresh cut french fries….it’s all enough to knock a seasoned professional off  his game. Wallenda will be passing over the main Food Court, hopefully he heads onto the wire with a full stomach. 

4. People.

Crazy Celebration

So there is the roaring waters of Niagara Falls, and then there are Western New Yorkers. A sea of either of these two can be equally intense. When WNYers get together they know how to party…will the crowds distract Wallenda? We will wait and see. 

5. Flying I-Got-It Balls.

wild pitch - baseball fail gifs

“Toss in ball one…” One would think throwing a small ball into a bin three feet away would be a simple task but anyone who has walked through the Fair can see that errant balls can be found just about anywhere. 

6. Double the Average Walk Length.


Wallenda practices, a lot, but this attempt will be the longest of the year, actually almost double the length of his typical walks. That being said, a longer walk mixed with fair food and August heat, it might just be nap time on the wire! 

7. Barn Noises.

We all know that joke about the annoying obnoxious cow, but at the Fair more than 1,600 animals will be housed in the barns for the walk. That is a lot of oinking, neighing, mooing, clucking, baaing…you get the idea. 

8. Over-Excitement about Fireworks

Happy Hopping Homer

Following Wallenda’s walk there will be a firework display, with another one to follow at 10pm. If Wallenda is like the rest of us, he loves fireworks and knowing there’s some waiting at the end of the wire, he just might speed up and lose focus. 

9. This Happy Goat.


Look at this guy…he’s so happy and full of hope for Wallenda to make it to the end of the walk. With eyes like that, there is a lot of pressure on Wallenda not to disappoint him.

10. Buffalo Weather.

Pretty Snow animated GIF

When you are walking in the 716, you have to be prepared for just about anything. While we should be far enough removed from snow in August, you never really know. 


As you can see, Skywalk Erie County Fair could prove to be quite the challenge for Nik Wallenda. Be there to see this one time spectacular stunt  on Sunday, August 10, 2014 at the 175th Erie County Fair. And don’t think this is your average county fair…its the Best Fair Ever!  With Nik Wallenda will be walking over it in addition to all the rides, games, food, and excitement fairgoers have come to love this is a not to miss summer event.

For more information about this exciting stunt visit



Fair Traffic Alert- NEW TRAFFIC PLAN

Friday, August 8th, 2014


 Starting Friday, August 8, guests coming to the Fair will not be able to use Quinby Drive to access entrance to the Erie County Fair. New traffic patterns have been developed to help ease traffic congestion and assist in local traffic, all with the safety of our guests in mind.

Patrons heading to the Fair southbound on South Park Avenue (Route 62) will see signs directing them  past Quinby Drive and instructing them to proceed to the main Fair entrance or they can continue to Clark Street and enter the grounds via Gate 5.  Patrons headed southbound on McKinley Parkway will encounter signs directing them past Quinby Drive to utilize the next two Fair gate entrances on the right hand side or they may park in lots across from The Fairgrounds.

The Fair has more than doubled the capacity of parking adjacent to McKinley Parkway including the lot across from Gate 1, which is now managed by the Fair.

For purposes of exiting the grounds from Gates 3 or 4, patrons will continue to use the two designated Quinby Drive exits.

Quinby Drive will remain open and accessible for local residential and business traffic.  

This traffic plan has resulted from collaboration between the Erie County Fair and the Town of Hamburg Police Department, Town of Hamburg Emergency Management, Erie County Highway Department, NYS Department of Transportation, Standard Parking Plus and the office of the Erie County Sheriff.


 Thank you for your cooperation!

Hey What Happened to that Poster?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

You may remember in October, the Erie County Fair sent a poster from 1883 to be restored (if you don’t remember, click here to read the story and get caught up). Well, it is back and has quite the story to tell of its journey!

Here was the poster before the work began (in case you didn’t want to read the first story): OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Laura Schell of Lockport took to the task right away and for those who don’t know much about what it takes to restore a poster from 1883, here is exactly what she has been doing all those months:

First, the poster was glued to brown paper with spray adhesive and then glued again to foam core. It was done quite unevenly, we may add and proved to be quite the challenge to remove.


After Schell saw what she was up against, she gave the poster a little massage. Using soft grated gum eraser crumbs and her fingers she was able to clean up the surface dirt off of much of the poster.  Many parts of the poster were to fragile for this step.

Then came the un-doing of the gluing! Using a metal spatula Schell carefully scrapped away first the foam core and then the brown paper. This left our poor old poster in three distinct pieces.


The sections bid each other farewell as they were soaked separately in an aqueous (water based) bath for about 40 minutes and then left out to air dry.



Once dry, the three sections were humidified and and placed on its new liner, mulberry paper. Instead of spray adhesive, Schell opted for a safer option of wheat starch paste.

After taking part of the journey on their own, the three sections were reunified again as they have been since 1883 by being lined up and pasted with wheat starch paste.

The now unified poster was headed for a makeover now! Large holes and missing pieces were filled with Japanese tissue and colored with acrylics. Small holes were filled with paper pulp that was dyed in a similar tone.

After all of the light handiwork Schell did, it was time for some heavy lifting. This came when the poster had to be flattened. The poster was first humidified and taped lightly to the table to begin the flattening process. Then it was humidified again, placed between sheets of fabric and  weighed down.


Finally, the pulp fills were colored in with colored pencils.

…..drum roll for the big reveal…..


And that’s it. Sounds simple right? At the end of these months the poster looks incredible and has been cared for in a way that will no doubt add decades to its life, if not centuries! 

The fully restored poster is now headed for framing. It will then be on display at the Visit Buffalo Niagara Gallery at the Market Arcade building on Main Street downtown.

People have already been asking where they can get a replica of this poster and the Fair is happy to announce our friends at the Buffalo News will be giving a replica copy to each of their new subscribers at the Erie County Fair! Look for the Buffalo News on the back side of Hamburg Gaming, sign up for a newspaper subscription and ta-da you have your very own 1883 Erie County Fair poster.


This blog is dedicated to the memory of poster pieces that could not be salvaged.