On Wednesday, May 27th, The Erie County Agricultural Society, sponsors of the Erie County Fair, announced its decision to postpone the 181st Erie County Fair (originally scheduled to be held August 12-23, 2020).
“Although our Board and staff share a feeling of profound disappointment in making the announcement to postpone the 2020 Erie County Fair, it has become clear that cancelling is the responsible choice for the Fair to do its part to support community health and safety, and to minimize the spread of COVID 19,” said CEO and Fair Manager Jessica Underberg.
The impact of the Erie County Fair’s cancellation will be felt far beyond the loss of the “Best 12 Days of Summer,” said Underberg. “We are heartbroken for the small businesses, family farms, competitors and exhibitors impacted in so many ways by this decision.” However, Underberg added that the Erie County Fair staff is exploring ways in which regional youth agricultural-based organizations may be able to participate in “hands-on” programs at the Fairgrounds with the necessary safeguards to create a safe environment for the participants.
Underberg added, “As difficult as this time in our history is, we know that the Erie County Agricultural Society and Western New York will emerge from this challenging moment and will be ready for the 2021 Erie County Fair, scheduled to be held on August 11th – 22nd, 2021. We look forward to brighter, better days ahead when we can gather to celebrate the “Best 12 Days of Summer in Western New York.”
12-Day Pass Refund Information
Full refunds for 2020 Erie County Fair 12-Day passes will be processed by mailing the passes back to the Fair office at 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, New York 14075. Please include the name and address of the individual requesting the refund. In-person refunds will not be handled at the Fair’s main office, as it is closed due to COVID-19.
Historical Context of Cancellation
The postponement of the 2020 Erie County Fair marks only the SECOND time since 1841 that the Fair has been cancelled. During World War II, the 1943 Fair was cancelled to support the patriotic rationing of gasoline and other vital wartime commodities. The fair returned the following year to record breaking attendance.
About the Erie County Fair
The Erie County Agricultural Society is a private not-for-profit membership organization. Established in 1819, the Society is the oldest civic organization in Western New York. The mission of the Erie County Agricultural Society (ECAS), sponsors of the Erie County Fair, is to preserve and enhance, by educational endeavors, the agricultural and historical legacy of New York State. The Fair strives to fulfill appropriate aspects of the agricultural, educational, entertainment and recreational needs of Western New York. The 181st Erie County Fair will be held August 11th – 22nd, 2021. (www.ECFair.org).
In 2019, a ranking of top fairs and exhibitions named the Erie County Fair the largest county fair east of the Rocky Mountains, the 3rd largest county fair in the United States (up from 4th position in 2018) and 12th largest fair overall in North America in 2019 (up from 13th place in 2018). The ranking of fairs, based on attendance, is published annually by CarnivalWarehouse.com. The “Top 50 Fair” list includes all county and state fairs, exhibitions and rodeo shows in the United States and Canada.
Final 2019 attendance was 1,238,456. This number represented a 3.3% increase from 2018 and made 2019’s number the highest attended Fair in the history of the Erie County Agricultural Society.