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Photo courtesy of the Erie County Agricultural Society.
Photo courtesy of the Erie County Agricultural Society.

Gates officially close on record-breaking 180th Erie County Fair


Mon, Aug 19th 2019 10:30 am

The all-time attendance record for the Erie County Fair was shattered as the “Best 12 Days of Summer” in Western New York concluded Sunday night. Final 2019 attendance is 1,238,456. This number represents a 3.3% increase from 2018 and makes 2019’s number the highest attended County Fair in the history of the Erie County Agricultural Society. The previous all-time record was achieved in 2014 (1,220,101).

Record-breaking attendance numbers are just one of the benchmarks used to measure the success of the annual event. With 52,968 pounds of canned food items collected, the County Fair’s opening day drive to benefit FeedMore WNY was the largest in its history – and ranks as Western New York’s largest food drive during the summer.

Other numbers include:

  • $289,980.50 Combined gross sales of all County Fair market animal auctions
  • $17,000 raised by the National Independent Concessionaires Association and given to four 4-H children during the youth steer auction
  • 10,159 competitive exhibit entries, including 4-H
  • 5,404 scheduled volunteer hours covered by Friends of the Fair
  • 3,035 livestock at the County Fair (excluding horse show & 4-H)
  • 2,600 pounds of meat from livestock auctions donated to FeedMore WNY from dollars raise by the National Independent Concessionaires Association
  • 857 miles traveled in 12 days by model trains in the Agricultural Grange Bldg.
  • 541 free grounds act performances over 12 days
  • 503 menu items available at concessioners
  • 179 Friends of the Fair volunteers/coordinators
  • 167 rides, games & concessions on the Strates Shows Midway
  • 113 local bands and community performance acts
  • 95 years with the James E. Strates Shows
  • 86 members of the Erie County Fair Marching Band presented by Pepsi
  • 72 cooking demonstrations held inside the Culinary Arts Center

Highlights of the 180th Erie County Fair include sold-out and recording-breaking attendance for a number of concerts at the Gusto Grandstand, an expanded I-Hub Pavilion featuring STEM-related activities and displays, new dairy, viticulture and maple sugar exhibits in the Agriculture Discovery Center, and the return of the famous Sky Wheel to the midway.

During the first weekend of the County Fair, the James E. Strates Shows announced it had broken the all-time single-day gross revenue record on Aug. 10.

A press release noted, “The Erie County Agricultural Society would like to thank Western New York for its continued support of 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 County Fair sponsor’s mission is to preserve and enhance, by educational endeavors, the agricultural and historical legacy of New York.

The 181th Erie County Fair will take place Aug. 12-23, 2020. Visit www.ECFair.org.

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