Start Enjoying the Erie County Fair Now: Insights from the 2018 Ultimate Fairgoer By: Judy Wilder, Founder of Photos by Judy Wilder

No need to wait for August to start enjoying the Fair, there’s lots you can do now to plan for and participate in the upcoming 180th Best 12 Days of Summer.

A Great way to enjoy the Fair before opening day is to participate in one of the many competitions. You needn’t be involved in agriculture to find a category that fits your talents, although there are many opportunities for those are are agricultural. The Fair hosts 8914 different entry classes, most of which do not have a residency requirement. Are you an artist, crafter, or wood carver? There are numerous categories in which you can enter your creations. Do you have a garden? There are 400 categories of flowers, not including those for garden clubs. Maybe needlework or baking is your area of expertise. Pie baking is back, and new this year is the Kombucha competition. There are even opportunities to enter your antiques & collectibles. Now is your chance to prove to family and friends that the old promotional coffee mug you’ve been hanging onto isn’t clutter, it’s an interesting artifact that the public will enjoy viewing and may even win a blue ribbon! Just go to the fair website and click on “Competitions” for a drop-down menu of all the things you can enter.

It’s never too early to start planning your visit. So many things to do, so little time! The SUMMERIFIC brochure is now available at the fairgrounds office. Figure out what are your absolute must sees and build your day(s) around them. The “King of the Midway”, the Skywheel, returns this year to celebrate 95 years of the James E. Strates Shows at the Fair. Also returning are nightly fireworks and Taste of the Fair on Monday, August 12, with sample food items for $2 each.  Be sure to add to your schedule, Molly the ketchup dispensing robot. She will be located next to Jim’s Fries at trackside again this year and Jim says that Molly will be performing some new procedures. Allow some time to watch, as Molly won’t be doing the same thing every time.

Of course, there are the perennial favorites which fair lovers enjoy every year, one of which is the animals. Love of the midway aside, visiting the animals is always great fun and a favorite of many. On this bicentennial year of the Erie County Agricultural Society, be sure to check out all the hard work young exhibitors put into raising and showing these wonderful animals.

There are various events and exhibits, too many to mention here, so visit the Fairgrounds website and download their Mobile APP to help you plan your tour and utilize the map so you can get to everything you want to see! Be sure to check out everything the fair has to offer and have fun!!