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.
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.
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)
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
The 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.
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!
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.
…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