World’s Largest Wooden Turned Bowl Nears Completion At Erie County Fair

 

By the time the gates close on the 179th Erie County Fair in Hamburg tomorrow  an attempt to complete the ‘World’s Largest Wooden Bowl” will have been accomplished putting both the Erie County Fair and Woodworkers Clubhouse in the record books.

 

The goal of breaking the record for the world’s largest wooden turned bowl began 12-days ago. The current record for a “turned bowl” was set in 2005 at Gurtis, Austria. It measured 13 feet in diameter and had a measurement of 40.5 feet base to rim.

 

To break the record, the Erie County Fair bowl needed to measure 15 feet in diameter.  The bowl is made up of over 724 individual segments glued up to form the turning blank that is over 4-feet deep.  Skilled woodworkers have been turning the bowl daily in view of fairgoers. Here are a few of the record breaking statistics:

 

  • Bowl measures 15feet in diameter
  • Base to rim measurement: 51 feet
  • There were 2097 cuts made to prepare the individual segments for the bowl
  • 25 gallons of special epoxy was used to glue the segments together.
  • Wood species: red oak & spruce
  • Bowl circumference 47 feet

 

The project is the brainchild of Joe Gelsomino owner of Woodworkers Clubhouse in West Seneca. When asked about what happens to the bowl once the record is established on Sunday, Gelsomino said jokingly, “There’s interest by the Buffalo Bills to purchase the bowl…so at least they could claim another “super” bowl!”

 

Following the Fair, the bowl will stay in Hamburg for display during the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights in December.

 

About Woodworkers’ Clubhouse

The Woodworkers’ Clubhouse is a fully equipped professional grade membership woodshop open to the general public. We offer classes for all woodworking experience levels from the beginner to an established woodworker and our supply store offers the finest in hardwood lumber.

 

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 2019 Erie County Fair is scheduled for August 7th -18th. (www.ECFair.org).

 

One Month Away From National Birth of the Hamburger Day

 

One month from today, the Erie County Fair will celebrate the invention of the hamburger sandwich!

 

Tuesday, September 18th has officially been designated as “National Birth of the Burger Day” by the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York.  The day commemorates the invention of the hamburger sandwich that took place during the 1885 Erie County Fair by Frank and Charles Menches of Canton, Ohio.

 

Why September 18th? Until the early 1920s, the Erie County Fair was held mid to late September or as late as early October to celebrate the agricultural harvest. The 1885 Erie County Fair, the event that saw the invention of the hamburger, was held September 16th-18th, 1885.

 

“Birth of the Hamburger in Hamburg” Canton, Ohio natives Frank and Charles Menches were food vendors at the 1885 Erie County Fair, also known as the Hamburg Fair. Legend has it that during the course of the Fair, the Menches ran out of their signature menu item of pork sausage sandwiches. Their local supplier, Hamburg butcher Andrew Klein, was reluctant to butcher more hogs during a period of unseasonable late summer heat and suggested to substitute the use of ground beef.  The brothers fired some up, but both found it dry and bland. They added coffee, brown sugar and other ingredients to create a unique taste. The original sandwiches were sold with just ketchup and sliced onions. With new found success with their beef sandwich, they christened it the “hamburger” after the Erie County Fair’s home town of Hamburg, New York.

 

 

Relishing in the Menches Success! There have been other claims made about the origin of the hamburger. As concessionaire traveled from one fair to another, it was common to emulate the success of other vendors and share “best practices.” As a result, they would make claims of their own as the “burger” made regional debuts:

 

  • October 1885 – After learning about the Menches success, fair concessionaire Charlie Nagreen claimed to have sold a meatball between two slices of bread at the Outagamie County Fair in Seymour, Wisconsin.
  • Late 1880s – Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas claimed to have invented the hamburger. According to oral histories he opened a lunch counter and served a ‘burger’ of fried ground beef patties with mustard and Bermuda onion between two slices of bread, with a pickle on the side. Davis later went on to sell the burger at the 1904 World’s Fair.
  • 1891 – Otto Kuase said he invented the hamburger in 1891 after he cooked a beef patty in butter and topped with a fried egg.
  • 1900 – Louis Lassen of Louis’ Lunch, a small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, is said to have sold the first hamburger and steak sandwich in the U.S. in 1900, 15 years after the Menches Bros.

 

 

Why the Erie County Fair Menches Hamburger Story “Cuts the Mustard”

 

  • The Menches Brothers 1885 claim is the oldest “birth of the burger” story in the United States.
  • No other invention story can stake a claim to why their sandwich is called a “hamburger,” our story can!
  • Descendants of the Menches Brothers have an original, handwritten burger recipe.
  • The Menches family is still in the burger business today. No other claim still has an operating restaurant serving the original recipe.
  • In the 1920s, carnival historian John C. Kunzog interviewed Frank Menches about his experience at the Erie County Fair. His detailed hamburger story was published in the 1970 book, “Tanbark & Tinsel.”
  • Successful entrepreneurs, the Menches not only claim hamburger history, but are also credited for pioneering the production of ice cream cones and creating “Gee-Whiz,” a caramel coated peanut and popcorn snack now known as Cracker Jacks.
  • The National Hamburger Festival is held annually in the Menches home town of Akron, Ohio. Restaurants from across the United States gather to pay homage to good ol’ Frank & Charles Menches.
  • Founded in 1985 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Menches Brothers invention, The Village of Hamburg hosts the annual BurgerFest and is one of the biggest annual events in the region.
  • The invention of the hamburger story is featured in an exhibit inside the Erie County Fair’s Heritage & History Center Museum. The display includes a child’s sized burger concession stand that allows kids to “serve up” play hamburgers.
  • News outlets around the globe including the BBC to Japanese national television have told the Erie County Fair story over the decades. The 1885 Burger Store, a restaurant in Taipei City, Taiwan, China, honors the Erie County Fair legend.

 

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 Fair is celebrating 150 years in Hamburg in 2018. (www.ECFair.org)

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Erie County Fair Debuts Western New York Snow Gauge

As the 179th Erie County Fair began its final weekend, representatives officially unveiled the “Western New York Snow Gauge.” The gauge is a 20 feet high graphic documenting historic Buffalo winter snowfall records. Included are such milestones as the current national record of 199.4” set back in the winter of 1977-78 and the Erie County one day record of 47.5” achieved on November 20, 2014. The Snow Gauge is located on the back wall of the Grandstand near the entrance to Creative Arts.

 

“We are only eight weeks away from when the word ‘snow’ typically begins to enter into the lexicon of weather forecasters,” said Erie County Fair Marketing Manager Marty Biniasz.  “As the ‘Best 12 Days of Summer’ are coming to a close, we pause to celebrate winter and the resiliency of Western New Yorkers shown during all season…especially winter.”

 

The Fair also took time out of honor and recognize the hardworking men and women of the National Weather Service Office in Buffalo for their tireless around the clock work to keep Western New York safe and informed with their forecasts and warnings.

 

Judy Levan, Meteorologist in Charge of the National Weather Service Buffalo Office and Mike Fries, Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the Buffalo Office were both presented with industrial grade, BOSS snow shovels in honor of their service.

 

Levan, a Western New York native, began her career with the National Weather Service in Buffalo as a Student Trainee and worked her way through as a Meteorologist Intern and Journeyman Forecaster to become a Lead Forecaster in 1996. In 2006, she was promoted to Warning Coordination Meteorologist of the Buffalo Forecast Office and 2012 became the Meteorologist in Charge of the Buffalo Office.

 

Mike Fries, joined the Buffalo Office in March 2018 as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist. A native of Michigan, Fries has been with the National Weather Service for 13 years with positions in Washington, DC, Spokane, WA, and Pittsburgh, PA,

 

Following the Fair, the “snow gauge” will be moved to a location near 42nd Street in an area visible during the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights. The “Western New York Snow Gauge” is sponsored by General Welding & Fabricating and BOSS snow removal equipment.

 

Judy Wilder Named 2018 Erie County Fair Ultimate Fairgoer

This year’s Erie County Fair Ultimate Fairgoer has been attending the Erie County Fair every year since the mid 1950’s. Judy Wilder of Hamburg has been selected by the Erie County Fair as the individual who is most “passionate and enthusiastic” about the Fair.

 

Judy has been an active member of the Fair as a volunteer with the Food Bank of WNY by selling Johnsonville brats or collecting food donations at the gate. Her dedication and participation doesn’t stop there. She has taken 1,600 pictures of the Fair, and this is only counting her digital photos. Sharing her love of the Fair, Judy posts her Fair photos on the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Facebook page through which she reaches 15,200 people each month. She also promotes the Fair at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee meetings, a true proponent of the Fair. Judy has also shared her photography with Fairgoers by entering photos into Creative Arts, a tradition she has maintained since the early 1980’s. Judy’s passion for Fair photography has reached new heights through her photo flights over the Fair, gaining an aerial view of her favorite place.

 

Established in 2005, the Erie County Fair’s Ultimate Fairgoer honor is bestowed each year on an individual who is not only passionate and enthusiastic about the Erie County Fair, but actively promotes and shares their love with family, friends and the community. The chosen candidate is the greatest Fair Fan who lives and breathes the Fair. This year an astonishing number of nominations were received for the Ultimate Fairgoer award accompanied by booklets, scrapbooks and more.

 

Wilder was officially presented her Ultimate Fairgoer honors during a ceremony outside of the Fair’s McKinley Gate on Opening Day, Wednesday August 8th.

New for 2018! Watch “Fair Day LIVE!” Beginning August 8th at 8:30a

 

Fair Day LIVE!, a new daily television program originating from the Fair, will debut on Wednesday, August 8th at 8:30am.  The program, produced by the Erie County Agricultural Society in partnership with WBBZ-TV,  will provide a daily look at “what’s happening at the Fair” as well as give viewers an “insiders” look at the Fair’s personalities and attractions.

 

Each morning at 8:30am, the program will be broadcast live on WBBZ-TV (Ch. 67) as well as streamed on Facebook Live. The program will also be available on the Fair’s various social media outlets. Fair Day LIVE! will be hosted by award winning actress and personality Kim Piazza.

 

“This is a great way to make EVERY day a Fair day,” said Marty Biniasz, Erie County Fair Marketing Manager. “Whether you’re planning your day at the Fairgrounds, live out of town and love the Fair or are stuck at the office and not at the Fair… Fair Day LIVE! will allow people to experience one of America’s greatest Fairs from their television, desktop or phone.”

New Attractions at the 2018 Erie County Fair

The Erie County Fair is proud to announce the new attractions, exhibits and other elements for the 2018 edition of the “Best 12 Days of Summer.” The following is a list of highlighted experiences debuting this year.

 

FAIR DAY LIVE!

A daily television program originating from the Fair that will provide a daily look at “what’s happening” as well as give viewers an “insiders” look at the Fair’s personalities and attractions. Each morning at 8:30am, the program will be broadcast live on WBBZ-TV (Ch. 67) as well as streamed on Facebook Live. The program will also be available on the Fair’s various social media outlets. Hosted by award winning actress and personality Kim Piazza. Produced by the Erie County Agricultural Society in partnership with WBBZ-TV.

 

I-HUB AT THE FAIR

Newly created exhibit area with the goal of exciting Western New Yorker’s about technology, engineering and the sciences. “I-Hub at the Fair,” with the “I” standing for “innovation, imagination & ingenuity,” which will be located inside the Fair’s Showplace Building. The display will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) based businesses and education through daily demonstrations, interactive displays and hands-on activities. One of the key goals behind the creation of the “I-Hub at the Fair” is to stimulate interest in the sciences amongst fairgoers and to encourage them to consider careers in areas that are driving the region’s economy. At the center of the I-Hub at the Fair experience will be the STEM Museum produced by Mobile Ed Productions. A portion of the Fair’s Showplace Building will be turned into a state-of-the-art, hands-on children’s museum focused on STEM education. Fairgoers will be encouraged to explore, at their own pace, a variety of stations that will include 3D printing, parabolic arch building and the ability to turn kinetic energy into electricity.

 

CYRK LIVE!

Audiences will be amazed and dazzled by a collection of international circus performers in the all new “Cyrk LIVE!” show to debut at the Fair on August 8th. “Cyrk LIVE!,” a  custom produced show created especially for the Erie County Fair,  will feature cycling stars, amazing aerial artists, eccentric jugglers, comedy and more. The family-friendly, single ring spectacular will take place under a colorful European-style big top tent that will host three shows on weekdays and four shows on weekend days. Also featured, as a separate show, will be the return of the Extreme Chinese Acrobats. Performing under the “big top” will allow for even higher stunts not seen at the Fair in past years. Voted one of the all-time favorites of the Erie County Fair, this talented troupe of artists will present a celebration of color and excitement featuring dancing, balancing, and incredible acrobatics. The Extreme Chinese Acrobats, who start training at an early age, perform amazing feats of skill unlike any other traveling show. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience this all new performance during three shows daily and four shows on weekend days. “Cyrk LIVE!” and the NEW Extreme Chinese Acrobat performances are free of charge with admission to the fair and will take place in a state of the art, circular tented coliseum manufactured in Italy. The structure will be 40 feet high and can accommodate up to 800 people per performance. The tent will be located near Fairgrounds Entry Gate 5.

 

RETURN OF NIGHTLY FIREWORKS

A nightly fireworks spectacular, produced by Skylighters of Western New York, will begin at 9:30pm, weather permitting and will last 10 minutes. The tradition of daily fireworks at the fair was initially inaugurated in 1927 to coincide with the first use of grounds-wide night-time illumination.  The nightly Skylighters display is presented by Ch. 2 On Your Side, WGRZ-TV.

 

DAILY FLAG RETREAT CEREMONY TO HONOR VETS & ACTIVE MILITARY

The 179th Erie County Fair will see the inauguration of a daily patriotic tradition that will honor veterans and active military members. Beginning August 8th at 6:30p and continuing each evening during the 12-day run of the Fair, a flag retreat ceremony will be held at Slade Park presented by Made In America stores. During each 8-10 minute ceremony, participating fairgoers will be asked to join in the Pledge of Allegiance. As a lone bugler sounds retreat, an American flag will be lowered and folded by an honorary color guard from a local VFW, Amvets or Legion post. The flag, which was flown during that day at the Fair, will be presented to a veteran and/or an active member of the military who will be the “Flag Retreat Honoree of the Day.” The Erie County Fair Marching Band will perform the “Star Spangled Banner,” a chorus of “God Bless America” and the “United States Armed Forces Medley.” Made In America Stores will be donating “made in the USA” flags to be used in the daily presentation.

 

NEW FOODS SHOWDOWN JUDGING

A new twist on the Erie County Fair’s New Food Showdown. On Thursday, August 9th at 11:30a, a panel of approximately 10 invited guests will judge the 2018 New Foods Showdown. The judging panel will be comprised of well-known members of the media as well as professional chefs and culinary educators. Now in its 4th year, the “New Food Showdown” showcases our food concessionaire’s culinary delights. We can’t wait to see what innovative food items our vendors have created for our 179th Fair! Judging will take place inside the Erie County Fair Cooks! Kitchen and Shoppe

 

MOBILE CHARGING STATIONS

Fairgoers will be able to charge their phones at one of six mobile charging stations. Stations will be located inside the Agriculture Discovery Center, the Event Center and Erie County Fair Kitchen as well as outside at Kiddleland, Slade Park and Marketplace.

 

MOBILE GLASS BLOWING STUDIO

Times: Daily 2:00-8:00pm. The mobile glassblowing experience will bring the artistry and education of glass making beyond the studio walls to the 179th Erie County Fair. Fairgoers will experience a multitude of information surrounding the lost art of glassblowing. Glassblowing is an interdisciplinary art form that embodies art, science, math, history, and teamwork. The exhibit will feature daily glassblowing demonstrations where 6-7 sculptures will be created. The Mobile Glass Studio was created by glass artist Ryan Gothrup.

 

MYSTERY DRESS CHALLENGE

Featured inside the Fair’s Creative Arts Building. Based on the theme, “outer space,” the Fair will provide a dress form, made of chicken wire and black fabric, and a bag of mystery items. With the provided elements, competitors must design and complete a dress during a three hour time period on Wednesday, August 15th.  Competitors can bring their own decorations to decorate the form. The winning dress will be named 2018 “Miss Universe.” (August 15, 12:00pm-3:00pm)

 

WORLD RECORD WOODEN TURNED BOWL

The Woodworker’s Clubhouse is looking to break the record for the World’s Largest Wooden Turned Bowl during the Fair. The current world record has a diameter of 13-feet, the ‘Western New York’s bowl’ will measure 15-feet in diameter; it will have a depth over 4-feet and will weight in excess of 5,000 pounds.  The Woodworker’s Clubhouse, located in West Seneca, NY (an open to the public wood shop) will be undertaking this endeavor and will be turning the bowl on their custom lathe every day during the fair until it is completed, once complete the Bowl will be on display for family picture taking.

 

BEAUTY, HEALTH & CLOTHING VENDORS:

  • Angkor Sales: Fab Brow liner, compact kits and more
  • Buffalo Icon Apparel: A Buffalo, NY T-shirt and clothing design pop art brand that celebrates everything that is fun and growing in Buffalo.
  • LulaRoe with Lisa Reese: Kids and women’s clothing including leggings, dresses, skirts, tops, & jackets
  • Nickel City Designs Buffalo/Hamburg/Seasonal themed graphics imprinted onto mugs, apparel, and more
  • Perfect Beauty with Mary Beth: Cosmetic &Skin Care Products
  • Southtown Salt Caves & Spa: Salt products and services with health benefits)
  • Stacey’s Gifts Galore Scentsy Fragrance, Wax & Warmers, Diffusers & Oils, Clean & Laundry Care
  • Swirly Bracelets: Handmade no clasp, wrap bracelets of silver, crystals, stones & pearls)
  • What Winners Wear: Equestrian Apparel, Artwork & more)
  • Wire Works: Handmade name jewelry made while you wait. Displayed in either sterling silver or gold overlay)
  • Yellowwood: Soap, No Poo/Dry Shampoo, Bath Buzzers, Recycled Paper, Coconuts)

 

HOME DÉCOR & GIFT VENDORS:

  • Angelus Gallery: Painting and Watercolor Angel Art
  • Go Fish: Functional Art 4 Kids along with You & Me Sittin’ In a Tree
  • Goldenlook of WNY: Epoxy/stone flooring applied over a concrete surface
  • Lackawanna Chiropractic: Promoting Chiropractic Services
  • Mystic Spirit Shoppe: Selling crystals, pendulums, and incense. Medium performing tarot card readings
  • Norwex: Cleaning supplies from home essentials to bath & body
  • Pink Zebra Home: Simmer Pots, Simmering Lights, Wax Melts, Reed Diffusers, and Soaks
  • Sand Ornaments by K Star: Ornaments made from Florida sand
  • Timbo’s Licorice Ropes: Various Flavors of Licorice Ropes
  • Traeger Pallet Grills: Traeger brand wood pellet grills, wood pellets, sauces & ribs.

 

GADGET & SERVICE VENDORS:

  • Amazing Products: Glass and tile cutters
  • Exact Imagery: Laser Art, Drawing, Graphics, & Photo
  • Own Your Own Arcade: Arcade video games for sale
  • Personal Etchings: Acrylic etched nightlights, keychains, ornaments, bottle stoppers, memorials, wedding toppers & home décor
  • Shoe MGK: Shoe Cleaning done as you walk by along with shoe cleaning products
  • Shrink3d: Create 3D figurines/statues of people! Through 3D scanning and 3D printing technology, you can create lifelike replicas of people and their families
  • TLM International: Demonstrate foldable mobility scooters that are lightweight and portable
  • Foresters Financial Services: Informational insurance booth.

 

BANDALONI

100% live musical one man band show of the highest professional caliber that is good fun and entertaining for people of all ages. Get this, he uses no backing tracks! Bandaloni the one man band draws from a century deep well of classic songs, spanning all musical genres with an emphasis on Rock & Roll and Country. The show also involves lots of audience participation combined with humor and astounding novelty tricks executed on his custom made guitar and drum.

 

CATHERINE HICKLAND – Hypnotist

Actress, author and Hypnotist Catherine Hickland takes you on a subconscious journey through the incredible that will leave you crying with laughter and pondering the boundaries of mental power. Watch as the impossible becomes real. Shy audience members are transformed into the stars of the show. The unknowable is revealed. The science of the mind is turned into something that’s intriguing, romantic, and poetic all at once. This show is fast paced, hilarious, clean and family friendly.

 

ERIE COUNTY SHERIFF’S GO DIVE NOW POOL EXPERIENCE

Try scuba diving in the fun and easy environment provided by the Go Dive Now Pool experience. Attendees can try diving in a comfortable environment with the help of trained professionals. Bring your swimsuit – we’ll provide the rest. Attendees over the age of 10 are welcome to try diving at no additional cost. Children ages 10 and 11 must have an adult try diving with them. Children 12 or older can get in on their own as long as an adult is present at poolside. The pool will be staffed with professional instructors and dive leaders from local professional dive centers. No prior registration required. Go Dive Now Pool Details: The 30-foot, 15,000-gallon Go Dive Now pool and exhibit is complete with all the latest scuba gear including regulators, tanks, wetsuits, masks, fins, and more. Limited Dates.

 

HORSES, HORSES, HORSES!

Lisa Dufresne has turned her love of animals into a lifelong career. Her natural skill with horses led to a career performing, choreographing and competing with her horses. This show displays many kinds of equine acts performed by various equines for your entertainment. This show is fun for the whole family and perfect for any horse lover you know.

 

JON STETSON – Mentalist

The Stetson Experience is intelligent, interactive, sophisticated fun. Along with hundreds of corporate appearances, Jon has performed for three U.S. Presidents, The King of Sweden, The Royal Family of Monaco, and has appeared on several major Television Networks. Interjecting uproarious comedy into each program, Jon creates a hilarious and unique presentation that never fails to blow the audience away. Stetson blends the art of Mystery with the study of Psychology, the predictability of human nature and the power of intuition, with a disarming sense of humor. The result is slack jawed amazement, where the most skeptical of audience members begin to feel a renewed sense of wonder as impossibilities become realities.

 

MAX POWER & NITRO

Max Power is a 9’ tall walking, talking, mobile dance party! Accompanied by his custom built monster truck named NITRO, Max strolls through the Fair in grand fashion. Max will keep you entertained with personal interaction, silly jokes, crazy photo poses and impromptu dance parties.

 

NINJA EXPERIENCE

This team of martial arts experts has been wowing audiences around the world with high-flying, jaw-dropping performances that showcase an extraordinary display of extreme breaking and theatrics. This show has it all- crowd interaction, comedy skits, and big stunts! When they all come together it creates a ninja warrior meets parkour and free running, total ninja experience.

 

EXTREME LOG MAKEOVER

‘Extreme log make over’ are the words used to describe what Tom and Dawna do. They are one of the few husband and wife chainsaw carving teams in our country. Every carving is hand crafted from start to finish. They both have been a part of invitational only competitions, have been guests at nationally recognized carver shows, and have had the excitement of doing tag team speed carves.  Funds raised benefit the Erie County Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund.

 

U.S. ARMY MOBILE USABILITY LAB (MULE)

The MULE Semi is an 18-wheel-tractor-trailer that is self- contained and climate controlled. It is an interactive exhibit with state of the art technology. Each part of the exhibit is virtual reality and S.T.E.M. based interaction. Inside: Augmented Reality Sand Table, HTC Vive System, Oculus Rift System, Distracted Driver System, and Humvee Simulator.

Our Fair Rolls on Rails! Fair Train to Arrive in Hamburg

 

For generations, the annual arrival of the James E. Strates Shows train has been a highly anticipated occasion for fairgoers and enthusiasts of Americana. The movement of the colorful freight train filled with wagons and amusement rides into the Village of Hamburg is a signal that opening day of the Erie County Fair is just days away.

 

On Wednesday, August 1st at 11am, the Fair Train will arrive at the historic Erie Railroad Depot in the Village of Hamburg as the Strates Shows begins its 94th season with the Erie County Fair. The depot is located at the corner of Union and Scott Streets (4 Scott Street).

 

The train will begin the final leg of its journey to Hamburg, using Buffalo Southern Railroad trackage that runs from Tifft Street in South Buffalo through Blasdell as it makes it way to Hamburg. As the train arrives at the depot it will be greeted by the Erie County Fair Marching Band, Fair Bear, members of the Strates family and Erie County Fair officials.

 

500 limited edition “Train Day” buttons will be available on a first-come basis, one per person, at the Depot prior to the train’s arrival.

 

Over the decades, the logistics involved in moving Strates Shows’ employees and equipment has developed into a precise science. The modern Strates Train consists of over 50 rail cars for rides and equipment and 34 trucks. A designated trainmaster and crew can load or unload the train in less than 18 hours with precision of a military operation. The show travels the United States during a seven-month season.

 

The exclusive relationship between the Erie County Fair and the Strates Shows, now in its 94th year, is considered a historical milestone in the modern amusement industry. The relationship between the Strates Shows and the Erie County Fair is the longest continuous run of any carnival midway in the United States.

 

 

 

Top 10 Ten Ways To Save at the 179th Erie County Fair

 

There are so many ways to save when attending the 179th Erie County Fair. The Erie County Agricultural Society, sponsors of the fair, encourages everyone to take advantage of the deals and discounts from opening day Wednesday, August 8th until the gates close on Sunday, August 19th.

 

Regular daily gate admission is $10 for adult and $7 for seniors (60+). Fair hours are 12pm-10pm on Wednesday August 8th and 9am-10pm August 9th – 19th.

 

Here are the 10 BEST ways to save money at the Erie County Fair:

 

  1. PLAN AHEAD AND SAVE AT THE GATE – The Erie County Fair has teamed up with Tops Friendly Markets to offer advance sale gate admission vouchers. The cost is $7 per adult, $5 per senior (60+). Purchase vouchers at Tops Friendly Markets now through August 7th and redeem them at any Fair gate. Ask your cashier at checkout!
  2.  IT’S GREAT TO BE A KID! – Children 12 and under are ALWAYS free at the Fair!
  3. FILL THE FOOD BANK & GET IN FREE OPENING DAY! – For the sixth year in a row, the Erie County Fair will partner with the Food Bank of WNY to help fill their warehouse with canned goods. Fairgoers will gain FREE admission to the Fair on Opening Day, Wednesday, August 8th with the donation of a canned food. Donations will be accepted at all Fair gates beginning at Noon.
  4. AS SEEN ON TV – Our television partners give you a chance to save big during three special days at the Fair! While you’re at the Fair, stop by their displays to meet your favorite personalities and support partner charities. WGRZ Channel 2 Day, Wednesday, August 8th. $2 admission (Gates open at noon); WKBW Channel 7 Day. Tuesday, August 14th. $5 admission all day; WIVB Channel 4 Day, Thursday, August 16th. $4 admission all day (NEW DATE)
  5. YOU’VE GOT A TICKET TO RIDE – Take advantage of one price ride days and ride all day for one low price. Purchase a $25 weekday ride voucher (Monday-Friday) in advance at the Tops Friendly Markets through August 7th for a $5 savings. Ask your cashier at checkout. $40 weekend wristbands are available at the Fair only. You can also purchase a Strates Shows Fun Card with 70 ride credits for $23. This offer is available at ECFair.org until August 7th.
  6. THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO SERVE – All firefighters and auxiliary members receive FREE admission with proper ID on Firefighters Day, Friday, August 10th. Veterans, active military and auxiliary members with proper ID receive FREE admission on August 12th.
  7. GET TO THE FAIR EARLY ON WEEKDAYS (Monday-Friday) PAYS OFF  – Arrive before 11am on August 9th & 10th or between August 13th and 17th and get into the Fair for only $5.
  8. STUDENTS GET SCHOOLED ON SAVINGS – Teens and young adults can meet their friends at the Fair. Students with proper school ID pay just $5 after 5pm every day.
  9. COME HUNGRY – During the Taste of the Fair on Monday, August 13th, over 100 vendors will be offering food items for just $2.00. This is the perfect opportunity to try that food you always wanted to. Other food discounts during the Fair include our $6 commemorative, souvenir mug featuring $3.00 refills all day at participating vendors. Buck-A-Roos, a concession stand near Kiddieland, features 10 items for $2 each. Unlike other major WNY attractions, concerts or sporting events, Fairgoers can bring in coolers with food and drink and, set up for the entire day at one of our many picnic areas (no alcohol or glass bottles please). Visit ECFair.org to download 30 food coupons for Fair vendors as an extra bonus.
  10. LISTEN TO THE FREE MUSIC – There is free, live entertainment all over the Fairgrounds! Join us for our four FREE Buffalo.com Grandstand Concerts on Wednesday, August 8th featuring the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Saturday, August 11th with The Fab Four, the “Ultimate Beatles Tribute Band,” Monday, August 13th, with The Oak Ridge Boys and Tuesday, August 14th featuring Midland.

New Fair Food Showdown 2018!

 

Deep Fried Piggy Mac Tacos, a Donut Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and the debut of the Surf & Turf Pierogi are among the new foods on this year’s lineup during the Best 12 Days of Summer.

 

 

It’s no surprise, in a region that loves to eat, that the number one reason why people attend the annual Erie County Fair is food. During the 12-days of the 2018 Fair, the Fairgrounds plays host to over 500 food items available at 125 food stands. This year’s bill-of-fare ranges from time-honored regional favorites to limited edition, deep fried novelty treats only found at the Fair.

 

 

New items have been added to the menu and are part of the Fair’s New Food Showdown. Fair food fans will again be able to vote for the “Best New Food at the Fair.” Voting will begin opening day August 8th and continue to August 14th. The winner will be announced on Thursday, August 16th. Past champions have included Mineo & Sapio’s Chorizo Ciabatta Sandwich (2015), Mark’s Pizza and Subs’ Deep Fried Bologna Bites (2016) and Babcia’s Pierogi’s Crab Stuffed Mushroom Pierogi (2017).

 

 

Along with the “fairgoer’s vote,” for the new food of the Fair, 2018 will see the inauguration of a new element to the “showdown.  On Thursday, August 9th at 11:30am, a panel of guest judges will provide their own take on the Fair’s food innovations. The panel will consist of culinary professionals from the Niagara Falls Niagara Culinary Institute, SUNY Erie’s Culinary Arts Program, Delaware North along with media judges including Spectrum News’s, Alex Haight, WGRZ’s Kate Welshofer, WBEN’s Brian Mazurowski, WKBW’s Mike Randall, Business First’s Jim Fink, WIVB’s Angela Christoforos and WECK‘s Steve Cichon.

 

 

 

This year’s “New Food Showdown” will not disappoint Fairgoers with a sense of culinary adventure. Highlights include:

 

  • Deep Fried Piggy Mac Taco, Jim’s Taco, Trackside. Pulled pork, macaroni & cheese, coleslaw all inside a taco shell then deep fried. (G7)
  • Donut Grilled Cheese with Bacon, The Big Cheese near Creative Arts Building. Cheddar & American cheese with bacon grilled on a glazed donut for a delicious combination (J10)
  • Garlic Parmesan Corn on the Cob, The Crafted Cob near Creative Arts Building. Corn on the cob with garlic butter and parmesan cheese (J10)
  • Apple Quesadilla, Jacks Delicious Fries on Broadway. Apple quesadilla dipped in butter, deep fried, topped with confectionary sugar & drizzled with icing. (L7)
  • Cookie Dough Extreme, 4 Dogs Dessert on Slade Park, Homemade edible cookie dough, Chocolate Chip, Cake Batter, Oreo or Surprise Flavor (I6)
  • Sweeter Than Sweet Tots, Fun Time Foods on Broadway. Sweet potato tater tots with marsh mellow fluff and a drizzle of maple syrup (K6)
  • Surf & Turf Pierogi, Babcia’s Pierogi on Trackside. Shaved beef, mushroom, and onion filled pierogi, topped with grilled garlic shrimp & basil parmesan sauce. (H7)
  • Cowboy Nachos, Big G’s Food Service on Trackside. Chips, cheese, chili, beans, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, jalapenos (G7)
  • Loganberry Sundae, Dippin Dots on Avenue of Flags. Loganberry syrup, white chocolate syrup and whipped cream (K9)
  • The Dirty Bird, Mineo & Sapio on Broadway. Chicken Italian sausage patties with BBQ glaze, caramelized, onion, cheddar cheese & Asian slaw served on grilled ciabatta (J7)

 

2018 marks the 3rd year of the Erie County Fair’s participation in the Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options program. Participating restaurants have signed on to offer a healthy menu item that has been approved by the Independent Health Foundation.

 

 

Growing each year in popularity, the “Taste of Fair” Food Festival will return on Monday, August 13th.  Fair vendors will feature over 125 “taste” sized portions for only $2. Alongside traditional Fair foods like Italian sausage and cotton candy, the Taste of the Fair’s menu includes stuffed banana peppers from Antone’s and Deep Fried Mac & Cheese from Diventuri. A complete listing of items and locations will be available on the Fair’s website, mobile app and on menus located at Fair gates the day of the event.

 

 

The Fair’s culinary arts center, the “Erie County Fair Cooks! Kitchen & Shoppe,” will continue to highlight regionally sourced and grown products, promote easy to cook at home meal options and to expose Fairgoers to Western New York’s dynamic culinary scene. Over 70 demonstrations have been schedule to take place during the 12-days of the fair. Highlights include the return of Howard Rosenthal of Mr. Food’s Test Kitchen (August 14) and Arthur Bovino, author of Buffalo Everything: A Guide to Eating in the Nickel City (August 18 & 19). The Fair is also proud to partner with the Niagara Falls Niagara Culinary Institute, SUNY Erie’s Culinary Arts Program and the Tops Cooking School on a series of demonstrations.

 

 

Adult fairgoers will be able to wash down all their Fair food with one of two limited edition beers. A Vienna Lager, the “Best of Show” winner during the Erie County Fair’s 2018 Home Brew Competition and an American Pale Ale based on the 2015 championship beer will be available at the Fair’s beer gardens. Both beers were brewed by Buffalo’s Flying Bison Brewing Company.

 

 

The Erie County Fair will partner with the Food Bank of WNY to help fill their warehouse with canned goods. Fairgoers will gain FREE admission to the Fair on Opening Day, Wednesday, August 8th with the donation of a canned food. Donations will be accepted at all Fair gates beginning at Noon.

 

 

Following the conclusion of the 179th Fair, on Tuesday, September 18th, the Fair will celebrate “National Birth of the Burger Day.” The day has been set aside to commemorate the invention of the hamburger sandwich that took place during the 1885 Erie County Fair by Frank and Charles Menches of Canton, Ohio.  During the Fair, Weidner’s BBQ located on the Avenue of Flags will feature their culinary tribute to the birth of America’s favorite sandwich with the “1885 Burger.”

 

Erie County Fair 5K Run; Certified Flattest Route in Western New York

 

The annual Erie County Fair 5K Run, presented by Good Health Saunas,  returns to the Fairgrounds on Saturday August 11, 2018 with pistol start at 8:30am. This USA Track & Field (USATF) 3.1 mile route has been certified as the flattest route in Western New York. The start and finish lines are located on the famous “Hamburg Oval” racetrack inside the Gusto Grandstand. The route then proceeds through the picturesque Town and Village of Hamburg featuring a zero percent grade.

 

Pre-registration cost is $25 ($30 day of race) and includes preferred, onsite parking, two adult admission passes to the fair and a post-race picnic. The first 500 registrants will receive a commemorative t-shirt.  Registration is now available online at www. ECFair.org. Pre-registered participants are encouraged to pick up their race packets on Thursday August 9 from 4:00pm-7:00pm at the Made In America Store located at the McKinley Mall in Hamburg. Participants can still register the morning of the race with race day registration beginning at 7:00am.

 

All ages are welcome to participate in the 5K, however, no pets, skateboards, rollerblades or bicycles are allowed on the course. Water stations will be provided. Awards will be given to the top three males and females in each age division.

 

The proceeds from the event will benefit the Erie County Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund. Since 2000 the fund has made available over $225,000 in scholarships to students who are pursuing careers in agriculture as well as those who participate in other aspects of the Fair. Past recipients include marching band members, media/marketing interns, concessionaires, volunteers, and exhibitors.

 

The Erie County Fair 5K Run is presented by Good Health Saunas with additional support from Tops Friendly Markets, Bryant & Stratton College, G&G Fitness, Made In America Stores, and Upstate Farms. The event is timed by ITS Buffalo Time. For more information on the Erie County Fair 5K, please call (716) 649-3900 or email hollys@ecfair.org.

 

Hamburg Residents Note: There will be limited access to Clark Street between 8:30am and 9:30am on Saturday, August 11th for the safety of the participants. Local fire companies and police agencies will assist in traffic control.