Erie County Fair Postponed Until 2021

Fair board says "cancelling is the responsible choice."

Tom Puckett
May 27, 2020 - 5:42 pm

Erie County Fair. August 7, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Hamburg, NY (WBEN) Say it isn't so! The Erie County Fair has been canceled for 2020.

Erie County Fair organizers are expected to provide additional color and background Thursday on their decision that is a disappointing benchmark in the 'calling-off' of iconic summer events in western New York as a result of coronavirus.

“Although our Board and staff share a feeling of profound disappointment in making the announcement to cancel the 2020 Erie County Fair, it has become clear that cancelling is the responsible choice for the Fair to do its part to support community health and safety, and to minimize the spread of COVID 19,” said CEO and Fair Manager Jessica Underberg in a statement released late Wednesday. Underberg adds the impact of the Erie County Fair’s cancellation will be felt far beyond the loss the event. said Underberg. 

“We are heartbroken for the small businesses, family farms, competitors and exhibitors impacted in so many ways by this decision.”  However, Underberg added that the Erie County Fair staff is exploring ways in which regional youth agricultural-based organizations may be able to participate in “hands-on” programs at the Fairgrounds with the necessary safeguards to create a safe environment for the participants.

Underberg added, “As difficult as this time in our history is, we know that the Erie County Agricultural Society and Western New York will emerge from this challenging moment and will be ready for the 2021 Erie County Fair, scheduled to be held on August 11th – 22nd, 2021. We look forward to brighter, better days ahead when we can gather to celebrate the “Best 12 Days of Summer in Western New York.”

12-Day Pass Refund Information

Full refunds for 2020 Erie County Fair 12-Day passes will be processed by mailing the passes back to the Fair office at 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, New York 14075. Please include the name and address of the individual requesting the refund. In-person refunds will not be handled at the Fair’s main office, as it is closed due to COVID-19.

Historical Context of Cancellation

The postponement of the 2020 Erie County Fair marks only the SECOND time since 1841 that the Fair has been cancelled. During World War II, the 1943 Fair was cancelled to support the patriotic rationing of gasoline and other vital wartime commodities. The fair returned the following year to record breaking attendance.

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