Hamburg, New York 14075
The Erie County Fair is a fair held in Hamburg in Erie County, New York every August. It is the second largest fair in New York topped only by Great New York State Fair which is 110 acres (0.45 km2) larger, and the third largest county fair in the United States, often drawing over one million in attendance.
The first Erie County Fair was held in 1819, and was hosted by the Erie County Agricultural Society. The fair is currently the second longest operating fair in the United States.
There is speculation that the modern hamburger was invented at the Erie County Fair, as its location (Hamburg), solves the riddle as to why there is no ham in hamburgers. However, this is disputed as a number of other claims have also been made as to the origin of the hamburger.
The Agricultural Society was established in 1819, then called the Niagara County Horticultural Society. It held its first fair in 1820 on what is now the site of the Donovan Office Building in Buffalo. One year later, Niagara County split into Erie and Niagara Counties, and so did the agricultural society. The Erie County Agricultural Society is the oldest civic, community member organization in Erie County.
Recent editions of the fair have followed a theme starting in the mid 90s to current:
- 2010 - Fair Fever
- 2009 - Summer Love a Fair
- 1999 - Miles of Smiles
- 1998 - It's Out Of This World
- 1997 - Makin' Tracks at the Fair
- 1996 - We're Outstanding in Our Field
- 1995 - There's Magic at the Fair
Annual Days for Free or Reduced Price Admission
- Kids 12 & under are FREE
- Firefighters' Day - Firefightrs receive free admission all day with proper id. There are tents set up on the horsetrack infield for each fire company to get together meet and have a cookout, there is also a free parade which the firefighters can walk in.
- Veterans' Day - All veterans and current servicemembers with valid id get in free. The tents are set up on the horsetrack infield for each different posts of the American Legion and VFW to have members meet and have a cookout. A free parade featuring members marching is also held.
Some Fair Facts
The front of the fair having a wrought iron gate facing McKinley Parkway.
The fair has onsite parking for about 15,000 cars.
The fair is third largest county fair in the USA with an average attendance hovering around 1 million people.
86 permanent structures including a casino and horse racing track aptly named "Fairgrounds Gaming and Raceway".
The James E. Strates Shows, America's only railroad carnival, has provided over 70 rides for the midway since 1924.
The only time in the history of the fair where the event was not held was 1943 during World War II due to rationing of supplies for the war effort.
The oldest buildings on grounds is the Octogon building which was originally built in 1885.
In 1994 the fair attempted to go for the world record of the World's Largest Country Line Dance, getting around 2,700 dancers.
The Fair owns the only original San Francisco Cable Car operating outside those city limits.