LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Niagara County Fair is celebrating its opening day Wednesday as it once again invites local residents to experience all the traditional fair favorites along with some new family fun.
The theme for this year’s fair, which runs through Sunday, is Olden Days and Modern Ways, and organizers have high hopes for high attendance numbers.
“I think it’s one of the best fairs and I hope no one misses it,” said Cathy Maloney, the executive director of the Niagara County Cornell Cooperative Extension and the director of the Niagara County Fair. “The weather looks good, so we’re really anticipating a great family friendly fair again this year.”
Every year, tens of thousands of people turn out to enjoy the fair in Lockport, and every year, opening day starts bright and early, as volunteers prepare the annual Farm City Breakfast for 600 or so people. “Basically people from the farms and the city to just kind of appreciate each other,” explained Beth White, a long-time volunteer.
It takes a lot of food to feed so many people. “They need 180 pounds of hash browns, 2,400 sausages, 2,400 eggs, as well as about 800 sweet rolls,” White said, adding that they also serve milk from Upstate Niagara.
So much of the fair is about recognizing the farmers that carry on the county’s rich agricultural traditions.
The Atwater family, for example, has been milking cows in Niagara County since 1852.
This year, that family is starting a new tradition, as oldest daughter Adeline, 6, prepares to show the family’s cows at the fair for the first time. Adeline Atwater says it’s hard work to get her cow, Abby, ready for the show ring, but when asked to tell News 4 her favorite part of being at the fair, she quickly answered, “Having fun!”
There are quite a few first-timers looking forward to fun at the fair this year, including 9 year old Joey Burg, who is getting ready to auction his animals for the first time. He told News 4 he’s hoping to get a lot of money during this first experience.
Everyone can have new experiences at the fair this year with several new attractions and shows, including a World of Wonders show several times a day, featuring a sword swallower, a fire eater, a Strong Woman, and more.
Other new attractions include camel rides and photo opportunities with America’s Show Camels.
Fair organizers say they always try to bring a mix of the fair traditions people expect with new experiences to keep families coming back for more. “It’s always a different fair but you know you’re always going to have a good time,” Maloney said. “If you’re 2 or 92, you’re going to find something you love at the fair.”
News 4’s Katie Alexander spent Wednesday morning at the Niagara County Fair ahead of the gates opening for the season. Click the videos below to watch our full News 4 Wake Up coverage.
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