The Erie County Fair Makes Way for Music

ZZ Top are among the artists scheduled to perform at the Fair this year.


It wouldn’t be summer in Buffalo without the Erie County Fair, and this year is shaping up to be a particularly exciting year for the beloved family event. Beginning on August 8, the 179th fair will run for twelve days total, and feature an impressive concert lineup, as well as an array of motor shows, food options, and agricultural lessons. On top of all that, this year marks the 150th anniversary of the fair being held in its current location, Hamburg, and there’s lots in store, including a celebration performance from Buffalo’s own BPO!

After 150 years, it’s difficult to imagine the fair being hosted anywhere other than in the open countryside of Hamburg, but it took several years for the fair to settle there. Established in 1820, the very first fair was held on what is now the site of the Donovan Office Building, in downtown Buffalo. Another fair was held in 1821, but economical issues forced the Agricultural Society to shut down until 1841. Since then, the Erie County Fair has been held every single year, with the exception of 1943, when it was canceled due to World War II. Since its start, the location of the fair has moved around, from Lancaster, West Seneca, Springville, and others, but it settled in Hamburg in 1868.

To celebrate this exciting anniversary, the BPO will perform a special concert at the Grandstand on the first night of the fair. This will be only the fifth time in the history of the fair that the BPO has given a concert, and will be totally free for fairgoers with the price of admission. Led by resident conductor Stefan Sanders, the concert will be a must-see event.

Dan Hart, executive director of the BPO described the upcoming show as "family friendly, patriotic," and full of "American classics."

In addition to the BPO, the Erie County Fair will be hosting an entire lineup of stellar concerts, some of which are also free with admission.

"The energy behind this year’s Grandstand lineup will be intense," says fair manager and CEO Jessica Underberg. "From music legends to current chart toppers, our team worked extremely hard to find the best entertainers possible while trying to add more free shows and to keep ticketed shows reasonably priced."


Allison Rapp is a Buffalo Spree Publishing intern and sophomore at Brooklyn College.


Erie County Fair Concerts and Special Events


August 8

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

The BPO kicks off the fair with a special performance!

8 p.m. Free with Fair admission.


August 9

Chris Young

The country music star hits the stage.

7:30 p.m. Tickets starting at $30.


August 10

Firefighter’s Day

Free admission for all firefighters with ID.


ZZ Top

Don’t miss these rock and roll legends!

8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30.


August 11

Erie County Fair 5K

A flat 3.1-mile course perfect for all runners.

8:30 a.m. $25 pre-registration, $30 day of race. (Race day registration begins at 7 a.m.)


The Fab Four - The Ultimate Tribute

If you love The Beatles, this is the show for you!

8 p.m. Free with Admission.


August 12

Veteran’s Day

Free admission for all veterans and active military personnel with ID.


Dick Fox’s Golden Boys Starring Frankie Avalon, Fabian & Bobby Rydell

Be sure to catch these famous vocalists.

7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20.


August 13

The Oakridge Boys

The Country Music Hall of Fame inductees perform.

7:30 p.m. General Admission is free, reserved tickets are $20.


August 14


Enjoy some country music, California style.

7:30 p.m. General Admission is free, reserved tickets are $20.


August 15

Freestyle Motocross Championship Series

Two-wheeled mayhem roars into the grandstand!

7:30 p.m. Free with admission.


August 16

Truck and Tractor Pull

You’ll have two opportunities to catch this exciting show.

6 p.m. Thursday & Friday. Tickets start at $12. Kids under 12 are free.


August 18

Ultimate Night of Destruction

Bring the whole family to this wild, car-crashing event!

7:30 p.m. All tickets $16. Kids under 12 are free.


August 19

World’s Largest Demolition Derby

Two shows for twice the rumbling fun!

1 p.m.& 6 p.m. All tickets are $20.




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