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Erie County gears up for fair time

HAMBURG—With the Erie County Fair just days away, families are making plans to spend a day – or a few – celebrating the area and all it has to offer. Running from Aug. 9 through Aug. 20, highlights include the annual concert series with appearances from Jason Derulo, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy and the Happy Together Tour; the Motor Event Series and the butterfly exhibit.

Regular daily gate admission is $10 for adults and $7 for seniors, children 12-years-old and under are free. The Erie County Agricultural Society, sponsors of the fair, are encouraging fair-goers to take advantage of deals and discounts to make the fair a more affordable family day.

Advance sale admission vouchers are available at Tops Friendly Markets through Aug. 8. Vouchers from Tops offer a discounted rate of $7 for adults and $5 for seniors. Opening day of the Fair offers free admission for anyone who donates canned goods to the Food Bank of WNY at the gate; and ticket pricing and parking on Aug. 9, 10 and 15 are discounted in celebration of As Seen on TV, where participants can meet local TV personalities. Those who arrive before 11 a.m. on Aug. 11 or Aug. 14-18 will be treated to $5 admission; and firefighters and auxiliary members can receive free admission on Aug. 11, veterans, active military and auxiliary members can receive the same benefit on Aug. 13 with proper identification.

The US Army will be on hand offering a STEM Asset, designed to showcase hi-tech capabilities and opportunities with the Army. Other attractions at this year’s fair include the Commerford Petting Zoo, Nickel City Reptiles & Exocitics and mobile Escape the Room games.

Those looking for free entertainment can check out the Budweiser Heavy and Lightweight Horse Pull on Aug. 15 and 14, respectively, mountain bike stunt show or the Timberworks Lumber Jack Show. New this year are the Flippin’ Aerial and Acrobatic Spectacular and chainsaw artist Jennifer Black.

Check out the FOODS showdown, which includes noms such as Italian Sausage Lollipops, homemade Kettle Korn Ice Cream and the Famous Deer Burger Deluxe – a low-fat venison patty topped with macaroni, coleslaw and BBQ sauce. Or, of course, swing by Weidner’s BBQ to try “The Original 1885 Burger.”

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Looking for lighter options? This year’s Erie County Fair will include some healthy options on select menus.

Making it unique to Erie County, the fair also includes a variety of buildings to stop by for the full fair experience. The 4-H Youth Development Building gives a look into the hard work of the county’s 4-H program; or check out the Ag-Grange building to sample fruits, vegetables and other farm products grown in the county. The Grapes and Hops building offers microbrews and wines and the Historical Building will give a glimpse into the past.

For more information, including the full list of Fair entertainment, vendors and food, visit ECFair.org, or download the Fairgrounds’ official app.

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