HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — The 183rd Erie County Fair came to a close Sunday night after a busy 12 days of food, rides, animals and more.

Many who come to Hamburg for the fun said it’s a family tradition.

“I can remember when I was like 9, or ten, my mother would load up the station wagon, and we’d be like ‘Where we going?’ and it would be a surprise until we got here,” said Kevin Cheek of Buffalo. “As I got older as a teenager, of course, I would bring my girlfriend out here, it was something to do. But, as an adult, you get a chance to bring your family out and experience some of the same things we experienced. The screams, the laughs, the food.”

Johanna McNulty told us she hadn’t been to the fair in 30 years.

She traveled from Ontario with her children.

“Just seeing them enjoy the rides and coming out and having food,” said McNulty. “It takes me back too.”

Fair organizers said the biggest challenge this year was the roller coaster of weather.
But, that didn’t stop Damari Hunt from embracing his Fair favorites.

“I really look forward to the funnel cake every single year. I love the funnel cake yeah, yeah,” said Hunt. “And probably the chicken tenders.”

People love the food, the music, the rides. But, people who help run the Erie County Fair said it’s all about making memories.

Jessica Underberg is the CEO of the Erie County Agricultural Society.

She told us her favorite parts of the fair are the 121 daily acts and educational opportunities.

“The focus for us is really the metrics that matter,” said Underberg. “How many people did we impact? How much money did we raise for local charities inside the grounds? How many memories were made?”

“Our facilities are grand and big. and we hear that from people who travel around the country,” added Underberg. “Judges and things like that, like, this is not the typical county Fair. But, what we have here, the soul of the event, is everybody knows everybody”

Marty Biniasz with Strates Shows said setting up and tearing down the fair is a well-oiled machine.

“When the Fair closes down at 11 o’clock on Sunday within 12 hours, the 70 rides and attractions and concession stands will be on their way to the next Fair. And they’ll work through the night and be on to the next fair.”

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.