How to Do the Erie County Fair on a Budget 2016

City Guide, For Kids, Nightlife


Written by Homer Enthusiast

Published on August 12, 2016

Erie County Fair, Step Out Buffalo

Erie County Fair / Step Out Buffalo

I always feel a little “somewhere in time” about the fair. It is so 1800’s it just seems to satisfy the basic instincts. Maybe they should do a olde-time dress up day. Cotton candy, food galore, lemonade, beer tent, I-Got-it, Guess your age/weight (is this a HIPPA violation?), the Ferris Wheel, 4H – love it all. However, every parent out there knows you can drop a bundle quick if you’re not paying attention. We are not talking 1800s pricing. Here are our tips on getting by on a budget. If you’re a mega fairgoer you’ll ant to check out their their free mobile app. If you get lost easy you might want to consult the EC Fair MAP.

When is the Erie County Fair?

August 10-21, 2016

Where is the Erie County Fair?

5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, NY 14075

Getting in on the Cheap

There are a variety of different discounts offered by the fair either to specific groups or provided by sponsors. No reason to ever pay list price (Adults: $10.00, Seniors (60+): $7.00, Kids 12 and under FREE). Parking inside the grounds is $5. You might be able to do better outside but not always.

Wednesday, August 10 / Opening Day – Donations of canned food can be redeemed for FREE admission to the Fair on this day or pay just $2 for admission and $2 for parking. Just mention Step Out Buffalo… err Channel 2 day. Gates open at 12pm.

Thursday, August 11 – Pay just $4 for admission and $4 for parking because it’s Channel 4 day.

Friday, August 12 – Firefighters Day – all firefighters and auxiliary members receive FREE admission.

August 12 and August 15, 17-19 – Early Bird Special. Pay $5 for admission before 11:00am

August 14 Veterans Day. Veterans and active military receive FREE admission on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 16 – Channel 7 Day. $2 admission all day.

All day, every day

Kids 12 and Under free. Student Special- students with school ID, ages 13-22 pay just $5 after 5:00pm every day.


Erie County Fair, Step Out Buffalo

Erie County Fair / Step Out Buffalo


Food Tastes Better at the Fair

I’ll say it again – the food is somehow better at the fair. OK, maybe it’s the memories, or the great outdoors or the extra lard but it sure hits the spot. Fried dough, cotton candy, ice cream, Chiavetta’s? Back by popular demand this year is the Taste of the Fair. Vendors will be offering an item for just $2.00 on Monday, August 15. See the list of participants here. Make sure to print out food vendor discount coupons or pick them up at information booths while supplies last. Some of our local favs – Chester’s, Salvatore’s, Nick Charlaps, Mineo & Sapio, and Louie’s Texas Red Hots. Looking for Healthy Options check out 16 Ways to Eat Healthy at The Erie County Fair.

90 Minutes of FREE Rides!

Celebrate a 90+ year partnership between Strates Shows and the Erie County Fair with 90 minutes of FREE rides on Thursday, August 18– 11:00am-12:30pm 

Bargains at The Grandstand

Memphis Legends -Aug. 12 at 8:30 – A musical tribute to the Million Dollar Quartet.  The Million Dollar Quartet is the new smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.  Free

Ultimate Night of Destruction – Aug. 17 at 7:30 – The Ultimate Night of destruction challenges buses, SUVs and compact cars to outlast their others in three separate demolition derby events. The night also features a figure-8 car race, where cars race around the track attempting to miss each other at the intersection? Some cars will make it, others are the reason this event is called the Ultimate Night of Destruction. $16

Sunday Demolition Derby / Aug. 21 at 3:00 – The top three cars from every county fair demolition derby in the state are invited to see if they can take top car in the Empire State. Cars who competed in the Erie County Fair derby on Saturday will have less than 24 hours to get their cars in working shape to compete in this Championship event. $20


Free Shows 

One of our favorite parts of the fair is you really never have to spend money for a great show- NEVER! I’m not just talking people watching here either. The EC Fair has several free venues and all sorts of great shows. Here are our favs. Click on the venue link to see the full list with times.

Carousel Room – Black Widow (Classic Rock), Road to Recovery (Acoustic Duo), Terry Buchwald (Elvis), Busted Stuff (Musical Duo), Boys of Summer (Party/Classic Rock).

Tops Avenue of Flags Stage – Ramblin Lou Family Band; John Cassidy- The Bizarre Balloonologist; Jerry Valley-Master Hypnotist

Evans Bank Family Entertainment Complex – Stars of the Peking Acrobats, Bello Voice Studio, The Lake Effect- A Capella

42nd Street Café – Playing most nights beginning between 6-7 are The Strangers (Party Rock), Diva Show Band (Party)

Slade Park Stage – Wood Candy (Rock n Roll/Rockabilly), Cool Platinum (Variety/Soul), Tom Keefer and Celtic Cross


 Related16 Ways to Eat Healthy at The Erie County Fair.


A few other SOB Fav Free Shows:

Backyard Circus and Puppet Parade

Kids have the opportunity to run away with the circus, without leaving the Fair. Volunteers become dancers, lions, tigers, high wire walkers, and a human cannonball as part of this exciting circus performance. Colorful larger than life puppets march to the beat of the drum in the Puppet Parade, which follows each circus show.

Location: Kiddieland

Show Times: 10:30am, 2:00pm, 4:30pm (Puppet Parade follows each Circus Performance)

Circus Incredible

Performing as a family trio, Circus Incredible, includes Rietta, Lyric, and Simon performing two aerial stunts and one ground stunt per show.  Rietta is the sixth generation of the Wallendas and Lyric, her daughter, is the seventh generation. They are well versed in acts such as trapeze, high wire, sway poles, and Spanish web. Simon, the patriarch of Circus Incredible, specializes in hand to hand balancing and spinning cube. Standing more than 25 feet in the air, the show will be easily seen by fans during their daily shows.

Location: Outside Showplace

Show Times: 12:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm (2:30pm shows on Saturdays and Sundays)

Gary the Silent Clown

A long time Fair performer and friend, Gary the Silent Clown’s shows are not to be missed. Gary mimes his way through his routine which includes unicycle riding, juggling, and plenty of audience participation. The crowd falls almost as silent as Gary himself as he pulls them into his tricks and illusions until the payoff,-when applause and cheers can be heard up and down 42ndStreet.

Location: Family Entertainment Complex

Show Times: 5:30pm

The Grizzly Experience

This unique show experience combines education, thrills, comedy, and entertainment as the trainers bring the audience an in-depth look into the life of the Alaskan Grizzly. In the wild grizzlies can weigh up to 800 pounds and stand up to 8 feet tall, making them one of North America’s most prestigious predators. The Grizzly Experience will showcase the instincts, intelligence, and abilities of these amazing creatures.

Location: Gate  5

Show Times:  12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:30pm

Jerry Ward, “The Wizard of Wood”

A pioneer of his craft, Jerry Ward is able to turn raw lumber into incredible masterpieces using only a chainsaw. An Erie County Fair staple, Ward has been turning logs into bears, buffaloes, people, eagles, and just about anything else you can imagine. Catch one of his demonstrations but stop back later in the Fair to see a gallery of the work he created over the twelve days. Fairgoers will have the opportunity to bid on his pieces in a silent auction, with the proceeds benefiting the Erie County Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund.

Location: 42nd Street

Show Times: Sunday-Thursday 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, Fridays/Saturdays 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm

Stars of the Peking Acrobats

These performers have traveled the world sharing their ancient performance art with audiences young and old. The acrobats will bring with them acts including balancing, aerial arts, and gymnastics. Set to traditional Chinese music these acts pay tribute to art forms dating back thousands of years. The Stars of the Peking Acrobats will leave audiences speechless.

Location: Family Entertainment Complex

Show Times: 2:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm


Erie County Fair, Step Out Buffalo

Erie County Fair / Step Out Buffalo

For more information, visit the Erie County Fair’s website or follow them on Facebook.

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Homer Enthusiast</a>

Written by Homer Enthusiast

A born and bred Buffalover.
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