Archive for the ‘Throwback Thursdays’ Category

Mooving Forward and Growing Strong

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

In this image from the 1932 Erie County Fair, Angus cattle and owners lineup near McKinley Parkway. This weekend, May 2nd through the 4th, the Erie County Agricultural Society will host the Empire State Beef Classic on the Hamburg Fairgrounds. Over 150 head of cattle will be competing for upwards of $5,000 in cash and prizes.


Throwback Thursday: Miss Erie County Fair

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Competitors for “Miss Erie County Fair” pose on one of our Glide-A-Ride trams in 1981. The Glide-A-Rides were purchased by the Erie County Fair in 1965 and were originally designed for use at the 1964/65 New York’s World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the New York World’s Fair.


Remembering the Spirit of Youth

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

In 1981 the “Spirit of Youth” was created to provide the County’s youth with a showplace for talent in the areas of music, dance and the theater arts. 19 women & 17 men who were high school juniors and seniors made up the first group. For 19 years, the song- and-dance troupe of students performed at the Fair and at hundreds of events across WNY. The group was directed by Art Tomczak with Ann Mosner providing music direction, choreographing by Lynne Kurdziel and production assistance by Mike Capriotto.throwback

Polish Flare at the Erie County Fair

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

To all our friends getting ready to celebrate Dyngus Day next Monday. In 1966, the Erie County Fair honored Western New York’s Polish Community with “Polish Millennium Day.” The day was chaired by Buffalo Mayor Stephen Pankow and included a special visit and a tour of the grounds by New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Other events included displays of ethnic dancing, a Polish lunch in the clubhouse and a huge polka dance.


You Can Almost Smell the Pine…

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Until the early 1920’s the Erie County Fair was held in September which accounts for the long skirts and coats being worn in this 1903 image of the Midway. You can almost smell the scent of pine as the towering, hundred year old trees created a canyon effect. The structure on the left would be moved to a number of different locations on the Fairgrounds and today is known as the Mount Vernon Building located in Slade Park. This postcard has been generously shared by Jimmy Barrett.throwback

An Expanded Fair and some Rock N Roll

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

1956 was a landmark year for the Erie County Fair. The Fair was expanded to 8 days, it hosted its first rock & roll show and it was the last time the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra headlined their own Grandstand show. Although the clean cut Pat Boone was used as the front man in advertising, the show featured future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent and Bill Haley, rock-a-billy legend Johnny Burnette and the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Lillian Briggs


Midget Car Races!

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

On August 13, 1960, well established drivers from throughout the east gathered at the Fair for the inaugural regulation Midget car races. Hal Rettberg of Albany took the checkered flag, guiding his car through 32 grueling laps in 14:35:02, a track record, to outdistance Cheektowaga’s Vern Harriman. Bill Holland, the 1949 Indy 500 winner finished third.


A Year Without A Fair

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Since 1841, the Erie County Fair has only been cancelled once. It occurred in 1943 when rationing of gasoline and other commodity during WWII made a postponement necessary. This image is from “the year with no fair” and features two buildings that can still be found of the Fairgrounds, although they have been moved, altered and restored. Originally located trackside, the Educational Building was moved to Slade Park and is now known as the Mount Vernon Building featuring the woodcarvers. Agricultural Hall was also moved near Slade Park to become the permanent home of the Fair’s History Department. During the 175th Fair, the original section(front) of the Historical Building will be renovated to showcase its 1800s construction.



Getting Groovy at the Fairgrounds

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

How groovy! The “Kids From Wisconsin,” featured during the 1973 and 1974 Erie County Fairs, strike a pose with members of the New York State Police. The group, consisting of sixty instrumentalists, singers and dancers, were selected from over 400 of Wisconsin’s finest high school musicians. The group made a major impact on Fairgoers and organizers alike that they became the inspiration for the Erie County Fair’s own traveling performance group, the Spirit of Youth, in 1981.


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.