Hey What Happened to that Poster?

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. 



Start Your Engines for Fuel Filled Excitement!

June 6th, 2014

If you like loud engines, tough trucks, and hard hitting cars- the Erie County Fair has something for you! The 175th Erie County Fair will play host to five exciting motor events over four days and guests will be in for a treat, as events have stepped up their game in honor of this special anniversary year.


Tickets for these events go on sale Saturday, June 7th at 10:00am. Tickets can  be purchased online thorough tickets.com, in person at the Event Center Box Office on the Fairgrounds, or by phone at 1-888-223-6000.

The 2014 Motor Event lineup is as follows:

August 14.7:00pm  Ultimate Night of Destruction. This show will offer the most bang for your buck- in more ways than one! The show will feature a double figure-8 race as well as demo derbies for buses, SUVs, and compact cars. Monster trucks Avenger and Brutus will make a special appearance to add 1,800 horsepower and 66 inch wheels of destruction to the twisted metal and car-nage! Avenger was name a 2 time Monster Jam Freestyle World Champion. Tickets for the show are just $16 and Kids 12 and under are FREE with a paid adult.

Click Here for Tickets

tractor pull

August 15 & 16. 6:00pm Lucas Oil Truck and Tractor Pull. The initial shock of the sheer size of the tractors and trucks that take to the pull strip can be enough excitement for some, but its when the pullers fire up the engines and dig into the dirt the crowd explodes! The truck and tractor pull has been a long time tradition at the Fair, so long in fact that the Fair’s pull is the fifth oldest in the country. Both shows will feature six classes of pullers coming from more than 10 states and Canada. WNY Pro Pullers will also compete in this event, representing the best the area has to offer in professional tractor pulling.  Tickets for the show are $20 for Pit Passes, $16 for Infield, $12 for Grandstand. Kids 12 and under are FREE to this event as well.

Click Here for Friday Night Tickets

Click Here for Friday Night Tickets

after math

August 17. 1:00pm & 6:00pm World’s Largest Demolition Derby. What would the end of the Fair be without the demolition derby? More then 100 cars will get painted up and prepared for a competition that challenges competitors to outlast the others. The afternoon show sees a lot of returning drivers who will attempt to fix their cars in time to compete in the evening derby! The evening derby is usually a packed house. Fans cheer each hit, crash, and heat winner with the same enthusiasm as the last.

The demolition derbies will also feature reality TV stars Kings of Crash. These professional drivers will bring five teams to the track to compete in a separate team style derby. The afternoon event will have all five teams and the best three will move on to compete in the evening show. Guests can meet the Kings of Crash from 11:30am-1:00pm in the infield. Guests must bring a canned food donation of $5 to benefit the Food Bank of WNY for the meet and greet opportunity.

Click Here for Afternoon Tickets  

Click Here for Evening Tickets  

Don’t forget, when you  purchase your motor event ticket before the show, your ticket gets you FREE admission to the Fair on the day of the event!

Erie County’s Got Talent….

May 1st, 2014

…and we want to see it. 

The Erie County Fair will once again be hosting the annual Talent Show.  This is your chance to showcase that special talent in front of your biggest fans at the Erie County Fair! If you can win at our Fair you will get to move on and compete at the New York State Fair, and from there the sky is the limit.


Entry information is now available for this year’s show. As always spots are limited and are filled on a first come first served basis. Acts will have just 4 minutes to impress the judges and there are certain restrictions as to what type of acts can be performed as part of the show.

There will be two divisions, each with separate shows:

Mini (ages 12 and under) will perform Saturday August, 9 at 11:30am.

Maxi (13 and up) will perform Friday, August 8 at 11:30am

If you have questions about the show please email Dawn at dmdance@aol.com. If you have read enough and know that you want to be part of this year’s show click the button below and start filling out your registration form.


PS. The talent show is FREE to enter and all performers will receive FREE admission to the Fair on the day of the show!


Mooving Forward and Growing Strong

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

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

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

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…

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

LIVE at the Erie County Fair…

March 31st, 2014

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.

                                                               dierks1   ladya1

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.

An Expanded Fair and some Rock N Roll

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