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.
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.
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.
The Erie County Fair is excited to announce our 2014 Grandstand Lineup.
The same great venue with a new name, the Gusto Grandstand, will host four headline concerts during the 175th Erie County Fair!
John Fogerty. One of Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists” and “100 Greatest Singers” of all time, Fogerty will be rocking the Fair on August 7 at 8:00pm. Tickets to the show are $60 for Blue Ribbon Track Reserved and $45 for General Admission.
Bridgit Mendler. Star of Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie, Mendler is also a singer and songwriter. She was nominated for “Favorite TV Actress” at Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards this past weekend. Her first album Hello My Name Is… went straight to #1 on iTunes pop album chart. Grab the kids to see Bridgit Mendler on August 9 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $60 for Blue Ribbon Track Reserved and $45 for General Admission.
Dierks Bentley. Country music star Dierks Bentley will take the stage on August 11 at 8:00pm. He is made a name for himself on the country scene with 10 number one singles. His latest album Riser hit number one on Billboard’s Top US Country Albums shortly after its release in February. Tickets are $60 for Blue Ribbon Track Reserved and $45 for General Admission.
Lady Antebellum. American Music Award winning “Favorite County Band, Duo or Group” from 2013, Lady Antebellum will be performing live at the Erie County Fair! With five studio albums and five number one singles this is a not-to-miss event. See Lady Antebellum August 13 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $80 for Blue Ribbon Track Reserved and $55 for General Admission.
Tickets for all shows go on sale Friday, April 4th at 10:0am EST.
Guests who wish to purchase tickets may do so online via ecfair.org or tickets.com, by calling tickets.com at 1.888.223.6000, or by visiting the Fairgrounds Event Center (Monday-Friday 9:00am-4:30pm).
Grandstand tickets purchased prior to the day of the show grant the ticketholder FREE admission to the Fair on the day of the event. Guests are permitted to bring cameras into the Gusto Grandstand but nothing with a professional lens. Many Gusto Grandstand seats are uncovered, guests are asked to dress for weather as umbrellas are not permitted inside the Gusto Grandstand.
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
For the sixth season the Erie County Fair will offer 12 lucky 8-10 year olds the opportunity to participate in Fair Camp.
This behind-the-scenes Fair experience will give kids and their same sex parent or guardian the chance to sleep in the barns, care for livestock, show an animal, work with a food vendor, and ride in the parade.
The camp is FREE to participants.
After the weekend campers and their parent or guardian will come away with a new appreciation for agriculture and livestock. Fair Camp takes place on both weekends of the Fair (August 8-10 and 15-17). There will be hands on activities supervised by our camp counselors, sleeping accommodations provided in the barns for two nights, and plenty of time to explore the Fair outside of the scheduled events.
be selected as a camper. Parents or guardians can download the application by clicking here or by calling (716) 649-3900 ext. 6407 to have an application mailed to you. Kids who are interested in participating must complete an application and
The application deadline is May 16th!
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.
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.
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.
Another week below freezing! It seems like this winter will never end, but good news WNY, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The WNY Sport and Travel Expo will be returning for another exciting year at the Fairgrounds.
This special event is created by people with as much passion about the outdoors as you have! The showwill feature vendors from around the world, including some from the area who are ready to help you launch into spring with everything you need to make the great outdoors, great! Filling four buildings the show will offer show only discounts on gear and accessories will be offered by vendors as well.
Have junior sportsmen on your hands? Bring them along to see the 4,000 gallon aquarium or get a jump start on fishing season with some time at the Trout Pound.
Attend helpful seminars that can make you look like a hero at camp this year or meet the crew from TV’s Lizard Lick Towing.
Whether you like being outdoors, or LOVE it, this show is exactly what you need to beat this wintertime blues and prepare for months of camping, hunting, fishing, and every adventure in between.
Dates: Thursday-Sunday, March 6-9, 2014
Hours: Thurs/Fri- 12pm-9pm, Saturday- 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-5pm
Tickets: $9 for an adult, Kids 10 and under are FREE
For more information on the show visit their website.