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2024 Erie County Fair Pricing: Q&A with the CEO

To Erie County Fair fans,

Happy Spring! We are just over 100 days away from the Best 12 Days of Summer. To help you plan, I want to take a moment to share this year’s pricing and address some related questions.

Jessica Professional Headshot

Q: First, who puts on the Erie County Fair?

A: We are not affiliated with a government agency and do not receive major funding from New York State or Erie County. One of the most common misconceptions is that we are part of a government agency. The Erie County Fair is produced (i.e., planned, operated, hosted) by the Erie County Agricultural Society (ECAS), a private not-for-profit membership organization located on the Hamburg Fairgrounds.

ECAS has been around since 1819 and is the oldest civic organization in Western New York. We currently have 452 members and 50 year-round employees. The purpose of ECAS is to preserve and enhance, by educational endeavors, the agricultural and historical legacy of New York State. The Erie County Fair promotes and showcases our community's agricultural traditions, talents, diversity and heritage.

Q: What is gate admission pricing for the 2024 Erie County Fair?

A: This year we will offer a discounted advance sale in July. Plan ahead so that you can save!

• July advance sale pricing: $17 ($15.04 + $1.96 in fees). Pricing available online-only.

• August pricing: $22.60 ($20.00 + $2.60 in fees). Pricing will be available online August 1-18 and at the gate during the Fair, August 7-18. Credit/debit card only.

• Plus, we’re offering an all-new gate discount day this year. On August 14th, admission will be two tickets for $30 (including fees), which is $15.20 in savings! Pricing will be available online and at the gate only on August 14th.

• As usual, kids 12 and under receive free admission every day of the Fair (no ticket necessary).

• Like last year, we will be credit/debit card only at the gate. Why? For the protection of our staff and due to the logistical challenges of managing cash. New in 2024, we will offer reverse ATMs for individuals who do not have a credit/debit card readily available. Fairgoers can bring cash to the reverse ATM and receive a card to use at the gate and throughout the grounds.

• See our guide below to refer to all of the great ways you can save at the 2024 Fair!

Q: How do you come up with the admission price for the Fair?

A: I’m sure like myself, you’re experiencing rising costs in your everyday life. The reality is that this impacts businesses and organizations like ECAS, too. Our security costs, labor costs and entertainment costs are all rising, and the list goes on. For example, our mandatory business insurance costs rose 22.9% year over year. In order to continue providing a high-quality Fair, we must cover our expenses and maintain an admission price that allows for that. Remember, we only have twelve days to cover our expenses.

Now, let’s talk fees. In 2023, the cost you saw online at checkout was an even $17. This total cost included fees, but the fees were not explicitly broken out in your cart. Recent legislation in New York State requires organizations to show the fee breakdown prior to checkout. This is great news... it means more transparency for the consumer! It allowed us to take another look at our website checkout process. You will now see the breakdown of ticket cost + merchant service provider fees prior to purchase. For example in July, you will see a breakdown of $15.04 + $1.96 for one gate admission ticket.

Q: What are ride prices on the Strates Midway this year?

A: Like us, Strates will offer discounted prices in July through an advance sale. Again, we recommend you plan ahead and save!

• July advance sale
• Weekday One Price Ride Day wristbands (ride all day for one price): $35 ($33 + $2 in fees). Pricing available online-only. Ride wristbands are valid Monday-Friday and cannot be shared.
• Fun Cards: $50 ($48 + $2 in fees) for 120 ride credits. Pricing available online-only. Fun cards are valid any day of the week and can be shared and reloaded.

• August sale
• Weekday One Price Ride Day wristbands (ride all day for one price): $37 ($35 + $2 in fees). Pricing will be available online and at the Strates ticket booths. Ride wristbands are valid Monday-Friday.
• Fun Cards: $52 ($50 + $2 in fees) for 120 ride credits. Pricing will be available online and at the Strates ticket booths. Fun cards are valid any day of the week, can be shared and reloaded.

• Plus, Strates is offering an all-new ride discount day this year. On August 15th, ride wristbands will be offered at two wristbands for $50 (including fees), which is $20 in savings! This pricing will only be available online and at Strates ticket booths on August 15th and are only valid that day.

• Also new in 2024, Fair admission and weekday One Price Ride Day wristbands/Fun Cards can be purchased in one single transaction on the ECFair.org website. Just one checkout means more convenience for you!

Q: What is the ECAS and Erie County Fair team focused on in 2024?

A: There are three priorities I always keep at the forefront of Fair planning: safety, quality, and cleanliness.

At the 2024 Erie County Fair, you can expect to see increased security measures, more free quality entertainment and of course, some of the cleanest grounds in the country. Earlier this year we announced the Erie County FAIRway. This mini-golf exhibit will be free to fairgoers, and we are thrilled that each hole will be uniquely designed and built by local community groups.

There are a few more new exhibits and entertainment acts coming to the 2024 Fair, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to follow us on social media for announcements! In total, we offer over 400 free entertainment acts during the Fair. There is truly something for everyone at the Erie County Fair. In our 2023 survey, we learned that fairgoers are spending 5-6 hours at the Fair, up from 3-4 hours on average in prior years. It’s clear that the Fair is a full day of fun for many of our visitors.

Thank you for reading and we can’t wait to see you for the Best 12 Days of Summer!

Jessica Underberg, CFE
CEO & Fair Manager
Erie County Agricultural Society, producers of the Erie County Fair

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