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Weidner's BBQ returning to Erie County Fair after 2017 fire


Fri, Jun 8th 2018 07:50 pm
The Erie County Agricultural Society announced Weidner's BBQ will return to the Erie County Fair after a devastating fire destroyed its long-time location on the Fairgrounds last year. One of the fair's heritage concessionaires, Weidner's BBQ has been an Erie County Fair tradition for 62 years.
During the evening of Saturday, Aug. 19, a fire destroyed the six-decade-old home of Weidner's BBQ, which was located behind the Buffalo.com Grandstand. Weidner's new location will be situated on the Avenue of Flags near the Conservation Building.
As the Fairgrounds has continued to evolve to accommodate a growing schedule of agricultural shows and events, the fair took the opportunity to relocate Weidner's BBQ away from the show barns. The new location will provide a larger, park-like setting for increased dining capacity.
"We are excited to welcome the Gerber Family and Weidner's BBQ back to the fair for their 62nd year," said Jessica Underberg, fair CEO. "For many, it would not be the same fair without a chicken dinner from Weidner's. We wish them continued success as they open their new fair location in August."
"We are extremely happy to be coming back to the fair," said Weidner's Ryan Gerber. "Many of our employees only work during the fair, so, for me, it's like a friends and family reunion for two weeks."
In 1956, Eden-based chicken farmer Bert Weidner, his wife and his two brothers, Jerry and Fran, set up a small stand at the Erie County Fair and began serving barbecue chicken. They slow-cooked fresh chicken over an open flame that was basted with their own special recipe sauce until it was cooked tender and juicy on the inside, crispy and golden brown on the outside.
The family eventually expanded its menu to include grilled steak and ribs. In the 1990s, Charlie Gerber and his wife, Mary Weidner, took over operations to continue the family tradition.
"The fair is something, as a family, we look forward to each year," Charlie Gerber said. "I believe our loyal customers think the same."
In addition to barbecue chicken and ribs, Weidner's will feature the "1885 Burger" at its new location. The burger celebrates the invention of the "hamburger sandwich" by the Menches Brothers of Ohio at the 1885 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 179th Erie County Fair will be held Aug. 8-19. Visit www.ECFair.org.

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