Wednesday is opening day of 178th Erie County Fair

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – The 178th Erie County Fair is officially underway.

Wednesday was opening day of the annual Western New York tradition.

A tornado swept through the fairgrounds just three weeks before opening day. A new exhibit recognizes how hard crews worked to get everything cleaned up in time for the fair.

Marty Biniasz, Erie County Fair spokesperson, said that fair-goers will be surprised not to see much damage from the EF2 tornado that swept through Hamburg. The tornado caused nearly $3 million in damage to the fairgrounds.

“Here in our Heritage and History Center, we have some pieces and artifacts that demonstrate the brute force of that storm,” Biniasz said.

The “Fairnado” exhibit includes bricks from the fair grandstand that caved in during the storm and millions of pieces of glass which were blown throughout the property, he added.

Assistant fair manager Jessica Underberg said that she was looking at pictures of the post-tornado damage a few days ago for insurance purposes.

“You forget how bad it looked when you look out here now,” Underberg said.

Now that the tornado damage is over, there are plenty of rides, food, and animals to enjoy at the farm.

Baby animals are one of the most popular draws at the fair, as well as 200-lb. pigs.

Chuck Hawley, who oversees the fair’s maternity barn, said that fair-goers can interact with baby calves all day long.

Thursday is Channel 4 Day at the fair. Parking and admission are both only $4.

For more information about the Erie County Fair, click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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