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Ok first thing is first. How can I not write about one of my favorite Western New York events? What am I talking about? The Erie County Fair of course! While I do not get to go as often as I wish I could, I love every minute of it while I am there. There is something familiar about the fair..I have my favorite food stands that are there year after year and I look forward to these year round! I also love the shopping. I think one of the funnest things is to see new gadgets that you never before knew existed. You can also find some real treasures there. If you guys know me at all you know that I love supporting small, local businesses. I enjoy walking around and finding local boutiques and crafstman that I never knew before existed.

I know yesterday was opening day but I just didn’t get a chance to see the fair yet. I am hoping this weekend I will be able to stop by for a few hours and walk around (if it isn’t too hot that is!) In my opinion, here are the absolute BEST things that you do not want to miss at the fair:

  1. Try new foods: Perogies, paninis, and ribbon fries, how can you say no? Also, one of my must haves is a strawberry shortcake for dessert
  2. Check out the 4H and Creative Arts Buildings- these crafters (both youth and adult) have such talent- it always amazes me to see what they can make and build.
  3. Agriculture Discoery Center- after all, what would a county fair be without seeing the hard, labor intensive work that our farmers put in daily.
  4. Sit in one of the parks with a coffee and listen to the live music!

It’s always nice to see the live entertainment as well, from musical acts to dance competitons, there is something at the fair for everyone.

Over the years I have had friends that have owned stands at the fair and have sold their artwork there. They always tell me what a great oppurtunity it is for a small business to get involved in. You are literally putting the name of your business in front of thousands of people. If you can afford it, what a great way to advertise!

I know the fair can be pricey for many people, especially those with a family, but there are definatly a few days you want to take advantage of that will help you save money.

The first few days of the fair are always great specials, with more than half off admission and half off of parking. If you have a large family, consider coming to the fair but bringing your own picnic lunch. As far as I know coolers are allowed and the fairgrounds has some nice shady picnice areas that you can use. This is something you may want to take advantage of! Then, if you want to splurge, get everyone an ice cream or special treat before you leave. I am not sure if this happens all the time or if it happens to be a random occurance, but it seems the later I stay at the fair, the more deals there is on food as vendors are trying to get rid of the already made food.

I think the most important thing about the fair is your support of small and local businesses. Consider buying something from a mom and pop place and help put food on their table!

Would love to hear all of your fair favorites in the comments!