“I-Hub at the Fair” to Engage WNY’s STEM Community


To create it’s new “I-Hub at the Fair” exhibit, the Erie County Fair has enlisted the support of  Western New York State‘s leading science, technology, engineer and mathematic (STEM) companies and organizations. During the 12-days of the Fair, various I-Hub at the Fair partners will provide daily demonstrations, interactive displays and hands-on activities. 2018 partners include:


Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance: Established in 2010, the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance (BNMA) is the region’s largest non-profit organization representing area manufacturers. A number of BNMA members including the Buffalo Manufacturing Works, National Grid and Moog will provide displays during the course of the Fair.


Northland Workforce Training: Part of New York State’s “Buffalo Billion” investment, the center will serve as a new hub which will focus primarily on training for careers in the advanced manufacturing and energy sectors. Northland will coordinate interactive labs that will include an Interactive Welding Simulator & CNC Lathe.  In addition Northland will provide a Mechanical Advantage Lab, which will allow participants to build basic machines using pullies, levers, and gear systems.  Companies partnered with Northland that will help support this space are; Haun Welding, NYMAT, Oeticker, Keller Technology, Hebeler Corp, Moog, Air Sep, & Staub


WNY Stem: The region’s leading non-for-profit whose goal is to bring together Western New Yorkers to advance the interdisciplinary teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.


EagleHawk LLC: EagleHawk is a drone technology company based in Buffalo.  EagleHawk will be engaging fair goers during iHub with a variety of drone activities!  These activities include drone simulators where fair goers get a chance at the controls and get first person views from high above the fair with an EagleHawk drone pilot.  EagleHawk will also provide flight demonstrations and education on different types of drone platforms.  Smaller toy drones will also be available for visitors to fly with EagleHawk.


Girl Scouts of Western New York: The preeminent leadership development organization for girls will offer interactive STEM based activities as well as be on hand to provide information on how to join.


Praxair: Buffalo’s Praxair develops technology, products and services to help sustain and protect the planet. The company’s STEAM Team will be on hand with cryogenic liquids and air experiments.  Fairgoers be able to watch how cryogenic liquids change the properties of everyday items such as balloons and flowers.


SomaDetect: Founded in 2016, provides farmers with information they want and need in formats that are easy to use. Dairy farmers can gain access to real time analytics of milk quality and herd health indicators from every cow at every milking through SomaDetect technology. SomaDetect was the winner of the $1 million grand prize in the 2017 43North business plan competition.


University at Buffalo GEM: The UB GEM Community of Excellence focuses on advancing genome science to help give people the tools necessary to understand personal health issues. GEM has an expanded understanding of the genome, microbiome and environmental factors to revolutionize the emerging field of personalized medicine. GEM will provide activity involving Mircobiomes or DNA with the help of a few of her students.


UB Society for Automotive Engineers: The UB Society for Automotive Engineers is organized to train students in hands-on engineering and design skills. The SAE student chapter forms teams to work on projects that participate in national competitions focused on Formula Car, Go-Karts and more.


NanoSat: A student research lab at the University at Buffalo under the direction of Dr. John Crassidis. This group of students works with the Air Force Research Lab, NASA, and Moog, Inc. to build satellites from concept to launch.


First Robotics: Founded in 1989 First Robotics is a not-for-profit public charity designed to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields. First will demonstrate competition style robots as well as allow fairgoers to experience this technology up-close and personal.


New York State Power Authority: Get a hair-raising experience at the New York Power Authority booth. Watch a short film to learn about the Niagara Power Vista and its recently updated exhibit space featuring a simulated ride, interactive game challenges and photo opportunities using the RFID Power Player badge; learn about NYPA’s free community events, onsite Power Vista programs and more.


Staub Precision Machine: Located in the Village of Hamburg, Staub Precision Machine operates as a production shop, machining component parts for manufacturers across the country. Staub’s “ketchup dispensing robot” will be on display at Jim’s French Fries concession stand.


The “I-Hub at the Fair” is sponsored by Bunzl and L. A. Wooley Electric Inc.

NEW “I-Hub at the Fair” to Promote Innovation, Imagination, Ingenuity


The 179th Erie County Fair will see the debut of a 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.


“Fairs have acted as public stages for innovation since their inception,” said CEO & Fair Manager Jessica Underberg. “Whether it was new steam powered farm implements in the 1870s, automobiles in the 1910s or the introduction of television in the late 1940s, the Erie County Fair allowed Western New Yorkers to experience new technology up-close and in person.”


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. To accomplish this, the Erie County Fair has partnered with some of Western New York State‘s leading companies and organizations who are currently leading the charge including the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance, National Grid, WNY Stem Hub, EagleHawk, Staub Precision Machine, Praxair, SomaDetect, University at Buffalo GEM (Genome, Environment & Microbiome), UB Society for Automotive Engineers, Girl Scouts of Western New York, UB NanoSat, The Buffalo Manufacturing Works, The New York Power Authority, FIRST Robotics and the Northland Workforce Training Center. The “I-Hub at the Fair” is sponsored by Bunzl and L. A. Wooley Electric Inc.


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.


Outside of the main I-Hub exhibit area, Fair patrons will be able to discover technology and innovation found throughout the Fair. A “passport” stamp program will lead participants to the Fair’s 4-H Youth Development Building and the Agriculture Discovery Center among other Fair sites to experience STEM in action. One of the “passport stamp” stops will be located at “Jim’s French Fries” concession where people will be able to interact with the world’s first, practical use “ketchup dispensing robot.” Over 300 hours of Western New York-born engineering and computer programming have been invested into this unique mechanism built by Hamburg’s Staub Precision Machine. The machine is meant to symbolize and represent “homegrown” ingenuity.


“The I-Hub represents the future of our industry. In an ever increasing virtual world, Fairs continue to be a place where the community experiences life first hand,” said Fair Marketing Manager Marty Biniasz. “From the raising of champion livestock to inventions being created in our backyards, fairs celebrate and let people interact with the best of human accomplishments.”


Erie County Talent Show Returns To Avenue of Flags Stage

Showcasing the region’s best amateur talent on the stage. From singing to dancing or playing an instrument… we’re looking to see who’s got talent!


The Erie County Talent Show returns to the Tops Friendly Markets Avenue of Flag Stage. This is a free contest with all contestants receiving free admission into the Fair.


Both mini & maxi divisions will take place on Thursday, August 9th. Registration for both mini/maxi divisions begins at 10:30am with the mini division beginning at 11am. The Maxi division will begin following the conclusion of the mini program.


All applications must be received by Monday, August 6th. For rules, regulations and a downloadable application visit: https://bit.ly/2mhOQsa

Nominations for the 2018 Ultimate Fairgoer Now Being Accepted

Are you or someone you know deserving of the title of the greatest “Fair Fan” in Western New York? The Erie County Fair is now accepting nominations for someone to be named the 2018 Ultimate Fairgoer.


Established in 2005, the Erie County Fair’s Ultimate Fairgoer honor is bestowed each year on an individual who lives and breathes the Erie County Fair all year long. The chosen candidate is not only passionate and enthusiastic about the Fair but actively promotes and shares their love with family, friends and the community.


Nomination forms are currently available on the Fair’s website, https://bit.ly/2KFqHKE,  must be submitted by Friday, July 27th. Nominations must include a short essay as to why the candidate, above everyone else, deserves the title of “Ultimate Fairgoer.” Past winning nominations have included photos, references, news clippings or collateral materials that provide further background. Management and staff of the Erie County Agricultural Society and/or the Erie County Fair are not eligible.


The 2018 Erie County Fair Ultimate Fairgoer will be officially announced during a ceremony outside of the Fair’s McKinley Gate on Opening Day, Wednesday August 8th at 11:30am.


Erie County Fair Stakes Race Scheduled For Friday, July 20th


The 2018 Erie County Fair Sire Stakes County Fair Races will be dedicated to the memory of longtime Erie County Agricultural Society Board Member Frank A. Newton who passed away just day before the opening of last year’s Erie County Fair. The race will take place at the historic “Hamburg Oval” on Friday, July 20th at 1pm and is free and open to the public. The New York Sire Stakes promote the breeding, buying, and racing of Standard bred horses in New York State, and are administered by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.


The Erie County Fair Race is part of a series of non-pari-mutuel betting harness races hosted at county fairs across New York State. The races are open to eligible two and three-year-old New York Standard breds and are separated into eight divisions based on age and gait. The start of the race is the first official event of the 179th Erie County Fair that opens its gates on Wednesday, August 8th.


Harness racing at the Erie County Fair is a tradition that dates back to the 1850s when the Fair was held at various racetracks across the County. Racing at the “Hamburg  Oval” predates the Erie County Fair’s move to its current location at the Hamburg Fairgrounds as the site was originally home to the Hamburg Driving Grounds.


Mr. Frank E. Newton of Orchard Park passed away on August 2nd, 2017. Newton served the Erie County Agricultural Society for over 55 years. Following in the footsteps of his father J. C. Newton, Frank joined the Erie County Agricultural Society in 1962. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1965 and served as Society President during the 1974-1975 season. He took Director Emeritus status in 2012 and continued to serve the Society. Newton took great pride in his affiliation with the Fair and attended the 2017 pre-Fair meeting just days before his death. Newton was 93 at the time of his death.


Competitive Exhibits Deadline Is July 20th


Time is running out to submit your Competitive Exhibit entries for the 179th Erie County Fair. All online submissions, via the Fair’s website, must be received by Friday, July 20th.


Annually the Erie County Fair offers a chance to show off our region’s creativity in a variety of exhibits from wine making, fine arts, conservation, woodworking and agriculture just to name a few. More than 12,500 entries in 8,985 classes are processed each year for a chance to win cash prizes, but more importantly, the bragging rights that’s associated with taking home a championship ribbon.


The Erie County Fair welcomes public participation as most competitions have no residency requirement. Only the Fair’s “Home Wine,”  “Home Brew” and “Conservation” categories are restricted to residents of New York State.  Children as young as 5 years of age are encouraged to take part in Junior Creative Arts submissions that include Lego building block sculptures, handmade jewelry and doll making.


Entry information that includes terms/conditions and class listings are available exclusively online at the Erie County Fair’s website (www.ECFair.org). Questions regarding the Fair’s Competitive Exhibits may be directed to Entries@ECFair.org or at (716) 649-3900 x6407.


Livestock Early Entry Deadline; Judges Announced

The deadline to submit livestock entries for the 179th Erie County Fair is quickly approaching. All online submission, via the Fair’s website (www.ecfair.org), must be received by July 20th. Early entries are available for the following: ABGA meat goats, ADGA dairy goats, beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, rabbits, sheep and swine. All Departments, except for poultry and rabbits, accept late entries for a higher fee and pending space.


The Agriculture Department at the Erie County Fair is excited to welcome exhibitors and spectators from all over the state of New York and surrounding states. Open Class Livestock Shows are open to exhibitors of all ages from the US and Canada. The official judges for the 2018 Erie County Fair are as follows:



ABGA Meat Goat Show #1 – Mr. Phil Myers of South Viena, OH

ABGA Meat Goat Show #2- Mr. Cooper Bounds of Thorntown, IN

ADGA Dairy Goats – Mr. Edward Cavanagh of Toledo, ON

Beef Cattle – Mr. Marcus Arnold of Ankeny, IA

Holsteins & Red & White Dairy Cattle – Mr. Brian Carscadden of Guelph, ON

Rotation #1 Dairy Cattle Showmanship – Mr. Joe Nash of Lyndonville, NY

Colorbreed Dairy Cattle Ring #1 – Ms. Molly Sloan of Columbus, WI

Colorbreed Dairy Cattle Ring #2 – Mr. Steve Wagner of Richford, VT

Rotation #2 Dairy Cattle Showmanship – Mr. Tyler Reynolds of Corfu, NY

Llamas – Mr. Harvey Pool of Abbeville, GA

Poultry – Mr. Clell Agler of Grove City, OH

Rabbits – Mr. David Cardinal of Waupaca, WI

Sheep – Ms. Kenzie Kretzmeier of El Dorado, KS

Swine – Ms. McKenna Cech of Brookings, SD



Entry information that includes terms/conditions and class listings are available exclusively online at the Erie County Fair’s website (www.ECFair.org). Questions regarding the Fair’s livestock entries may be directed to Entries@ECFair.org or at (716) 649-3900 x6407.

Circus “Under The Big Top” Added To Free Entertainment Lineup


Introducing “Cyrk LIVE!” Included With Your Paid Admission To The Fair!  


Audiences at the 179th Erie County Fair this August 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 dates.


John Kennedy Kane has been selected and named “Ringmaster” for “Cyrk LIVE!” following his recent, four-year run as the ringmaster of the world famous Big Apple Circus in New York City.   A Western New York native, raised in South Buffalo, Kane has traveled North America as a professional circus host for more than 35 years. In 1995, he earned Gold Medal honors at the Sarasota International Circus Festival for his ringmaster talents.  With his congenial style and charm, he will host a glittering galaxy of circus stars including:


The McIntyre Family – Hailing from Chile, and representing 5 generations of circus excellence, this multi-talented group of acrobats present spine-tingling performances on the treacherous high wire, amazing unicycling artistry and hula hoop manipulation.


The Anastasini Family – 9th generation artists from Italy will offer their comedy canine revue.  These four-footed friends, many of which are rescue dogs, will delight and captivate “children of all ages”.  The trio will also present their signature unique diablo juggling and bounding rope acrobatics.


From the Czech Republic, the world renowned Bertini Family is represented by Vlastek and Kim Sue Bertini. She performs high in the dome of the big top on the spinning aerial lyra. Vlastek will amaze and amuse by leaps and bounds as “Roger” on the trampoline…always a family favorite with his comedy acrobatics.


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.


“Cyrk LIVE!” is supported by Mattress Firm and Nick Charlap’s Ice Cream,


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 179th Erie County Fair will be held August 8th – 19th, 2018 (www.ECFair.org)


Save on Advance Gate Admission & One Price Ride Days


Starting THIS Sunday, July 1st, fairgoers will be able to save money preparing for the BEST 12 Days of Summer! Tops Friendly Markets has teamed up with the Erie County Fair to offer discounts off gate admission.  Savings are up to 30% off the cost at the gate. The discount cost is $7 per adult and $5 per senior (60+). You can purchase vouchers from checkout cashiers at any participating Tops Friendly Markets locations now through Tuesday August 7th and redeem them at any Fair gate. New this year, customers can take their TOPS vouchers right to the gate for Fair entry eliminating a stop at the ticket booth upon arrival.


Fairgoers can also save on all the classic carnival fun on the famous James E. Strates Shows Midway during Weekday One Price Ride Days on Aug 8th-10th and August 13th-17th.  Vouchers can be purchased in advance for just $25 (save $5) and are also available at Tops Friendly Markets until August 7th.

179th Fair to Celebrate 150 Years in Hamburg


During the autumn of 1868, pioneer members of the Erie County Agricultural Society held their first Fair in the Town of Hamburg. The site, the Hamburg Driving Park Association grounds located on present day McKinley Parkway, then a dirt lane, would eventually become the permanent home of the Erie County Fair. 150 years later, the Erie County Fair will celebrate its “Hamburg Sesquicentennial” with the return of daily fireworks along with other commemorations during the 179th Fair this August.


The 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.


“Generations of Fairgoers remember winding down their Fair day by watching fireworks,” said CEO & Fair Manager Jessica Underberg. “We are proud to bring back this tradition as we celebrate our sesquicentennial year in Hamburg.”


Founded in 1820, the Fair was held at various locations throughout its early history including sites within the City of Buffalo limits. As the population of the City expanded, the Fair moved to outlying villages such as Lancaster, Orchard Park and East Aurora.


At the Society’s annual meeting during the winter of 1868, a spirited contest for that year’s Fair location took place between supporters of the Union Fairgrounds site in Springville and those who wanted to locate to a racetrack in Hamburg. By a one vote margin the Fair was moved to land owned by Luther Titus and the Hamburg Driving Park Association. The property included a half-mile racetrack, a number of buildings and grandstand seating. It was offered free of charge for holding the annual Fair until 1875. For a few years following 1868, the vote to move the Fair was still held at annual meetings with Hamburg winning each time. By the mid-1870s, it was accepted as the permanent location of the Fair. To further ensure its permanency, in 1880-1881 the Society purchased the grounds outright by acquiring 12 acres from Maria & Naomi Clark of Clark Street and 12 ½ acres from George Pierce. The price was $100 an acre. Now with its own land and control of its future, the Society began a year-by-year development program to transform the County Fair into a regional attraction.


The decision to relocate only 12 miles from the City of Buffalo kicked off a period of unprecedented growth for the Fair, eventually resulting in the Erie County Fair becoming one of the largest fairs in North America. In 2017, The Erie County Fair ranked as the 12th largest fair when compared to all state and county fairs in the United States and Canada.


About Skylighters of Western New York

Skylighters is a locally owned and operated professional fireworks company that has been creating memorable pyrotechnics since 1992.  The company is owned by Western New York native Matthew Shaw. Skylighters has been providing firework displays at the Erie County Fair since 2014.


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 179th Erie County Fair will be held August 8th – 19th, 2018. (www.ECFair.org).