Archive for the ‘Throwback Thursdays’ Category

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)

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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.

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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.

 

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Pulling towards Victory

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The Erie County Fair plays host to one the longest running and most respected tractor pulls in the US. In 1970, after local competitors where turned away from a State competition because they were not “qualified,” a committee headed by North Boston dairy farmer Joseph Telaak established our first pull in 1971. By 1973, the Erie County Fair pull became officially sanctioned by the National Tractor Pullers Association, the first in New York State. The 33-year old tradition will continue in 2014 during the 175th Erie County Fair, as world classic pulling action returns to Hamburg the evenings of August 15th & 16th .

Throwback Thursday

“Once Eaten, Never Beaten”

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

From 1957 to 1992, the voice of Felix Coniglio could be heard emanating from his bright yellow Chef Felix pizza truck alongside other concessionaires at the Erie County Fair . Coniglio, a navy veteran, gained his cooking skills while working in a ship’s galley. As a special treat to his fellow servicemen, he would often whip up Buffalo style pizza in the ship’s cramped quarters, an environment similar to the interior his 1957 Chevy “pizza” truck. His “secret ingredient” was the liberal use of oregano on other fresh Italian spices that he would add to the top of the pie.

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Strates in the Sixties

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

A rare color picture of the Erie County Fair Strates Shows Midway, circa 1961.

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Preparing for a Spin around the Hamburg Oval

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

January 9, 2014. Preparing to race at the Hamburg Oval, 1939. Erie County Fair. Harness racing has been a part of both the American fair and an Erie County Fair tradition since the early part of the 19th century. The popular rural past-time, using fairly unsophisticated carts and hole-riddled country roads as tracks, made way to the first dedicated tracks located at the various sites of the Erie County Fair including Cold Springs in Buffalo, South Buffalo near Mineral Springs Road, Springville and at our current home in Hamburg. The tradition of harness racing continues with Opening Night rescheduled for this Saturday with first post at 6:40pm

#ThrowbackThursday - Preparing to race at the Hamburg Oval,  1939. Erie County Fair. Harness racing has been a part of both the American fair and an Erie County Fair tradition since the early part of the 19th century. The popular rural past-time, using fairly unsophisticated carts and hole-riddled country roads as tracks, made way to the first dedicated tracks located at the various sites of the Erie County Fair including Cold Springs in Buffalo, South Buffalo near Mineral Springs Road, Springville and at our current home in Hamburg. The tradition of harness racing continues with Opening Night rescheduled for this Saturday with first post at 6:40pm

 

Pre-Fair Partying Since the 60s

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

January 2, 2014. Tailgating… Erie County Fair style. Away from the busy concessions and midway, this 1960s family gathers for a home packed parking lot picnic

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Statler Brothers Make the News

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

December 26, 2013.  Pictured here in 1979 is WKBW-TV’s Brian Kahle, then host of AM Buffalo, interviews the Statler Brothers (Lew DeWitt, Harold Reid, Don Reid, and Phil Balsley) prior to a performance at the Grandstand of the Erie County Fair. Kahle passed away this past May.

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The Start of a Beautiful Friendship

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

December 19, 2013. In December 1923, the Erie County Agricultural Society received a letter from Elmira, New York based James E. Strates soliciting the Fair’s business for his newly created Southern Tier Amusement Company. This simple letter, proudly displayed in our Fair Office to this day, was the beginning of a 90-year partnership between the Strates Family, the Erie County Fair and the people of Western New York. We look forward to our 90th season with Strates Shows during next year’s 175th Erie County Fair.

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