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Erie County Fair is the 11th largest fair in North America

A calf at the 2013 Erie County Fair. Photo by Jessie Owen.
ERIE COUNTY — Employees of the Erie County Agricultural Society at The Fairgrounds in Hamburg have thanked the citizens of Western New York for helping to make the Erie County Fair one of the largest in North America. It was ranked 11th in size, compared to all fairs, and fourth in size, compared to all county fairs.

These individuals recently gathered in the Carousel Room at The Fairgrounds, to publicly acknowledge the citizens of their community for the recent fair rankings.

The numbers were recently published by and included all county and state fairs, exhibitions, livestock and rodeo shows in the United States and Canada.

“The ranking is quite an accomplishment for the Buffalo-Niagara region, when you consider that the Erie County Fair outranks most of the state fairs in the U.S., including the New York State Fair,” said Assistant Fair Manager Jessica Underberg.

This past August, the Erie County Fair experienced a record-setting number of visitors, 1,160,184, breaking the previous record set in 2011 by 10 percent. This year, the ECAS will host its 175th Erie County Fair on Aug. 6 – 17.

The Erie County Agricultural Society is a private not-for-profit membership organization, established in 1819. It is the oldest civic organization in WNY.

The 10 largest state fairs are, in order, the Texas State Fair in Dallas, with 2,598,215 attendees; the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in Houston, with 2,506,238; the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, Minn., with 1,731,162; the San Antonia Livestock Show in San Antonio, Texas, with 1,665,747; the Eastern State Exhibition in Springfield, Mass., with 1,481,917; the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, Calif., with 1,438,514; the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, Calif., with 1,425,200; the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, Calif., with 1,374,579; the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Ontario, with 1,360,000 and the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix, with 1,178,515.

The complete list may be viewed at

In addition, The International Association of Fairs and Expositions recently announced that the Erie County Fair was the winner of 19 awards in its annual competitions. The Erie County Fair competed in a division class that consisted of fairs with attendance of more than 1 million.

The Erie County Fair won in the following categories:

Agricultural awards:

First place: new program to promote agricultural – chick hatchery exhibit, Ag-Sperience; first place: non-fair agricultural event or program – Empire State Beef Classic Show; first place: program designed to correct an issue related to agriculture – washrack educational staffing; second place: agricultural photo – swine photo; second place: agricultural series photo – beef photo and third place: agricultural educational event, exhibit or program for fairgoing public – apple display.

Hall of honor communications awards:

First place: best individual mobile effort – fairgrounds app; second place: brochure/flyer series – Daily Sheets; second place: Web advertisement – WGRZ-TV expandable website ad; third place: printed promotional material – eight-page brochure; third place: solution-based communication effort – move of concessioner location and third place: promotion event – food drive.

Competitive exhibits awards:

First place: competitive exhibit display method or prop – shorn fleece display; first place: new or unique single class of competitive exhibits – As Seen on Pinterest® contest in creative arts; first place: unique contest – hair competition; first place: new strategy to increase exhibitors – American Boer Goat Association double pointed show; second place: new or unique division of competitive exhibits – cupcake competition; second place: use of fair’s theme in a single class or contest – Dress it Up Contest in creative arts and second place: competitive exhibits photo – photo cupcake competition.

The awards were presented at the IAFE Convention in Las Vegas.

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