“We want to have a fair”: Organizers planning Erie County Fair despite lack of guidance from state

Hamburg

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County Fair CEO and Director Jessica Underberg held a press conference today following Monday’s Great New York State Fair announcement.

While visiting Syracuse, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state is planning to hold the fair for all 18 days this summer starting August 20.

Underberg says she’s not 100% that this morning’s announcement pertains to county fairs.

“Not one word in the press conference made mention of them. I’m hoping this is address in the very near future,” Underberg said.

She says despite being told to just run the event, even without guidance, that’s not feasible.

“Every fair will need to have a public gathering permit issued and signed off by their respective counties,” Underberg added.

She says each fair will have to assess the guidance when it’s issued to see if it will work for them in terms of time left for planning, financial investment and return, and staffing.

During the press conference, Underberg says the Erie County Fair has been, and continues to plan for the “Best 12 Days of Summer,” depending on the guidance issued.

Watch Erie County Fair CEO and Director Jessica Underberg speak on the future of this year’s fair:

According to Underberg, she has not reached out directly to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, but is working with the Erie County Department of Health.

“We’ll continue to work with them as we get the guidance that comes down the pike,” Underberg said.

When it comes to the layout of the fair this year, Underberg says she does not envision a quadrant approach like the New York State Fair.

“What I would envision is we’re likely going to have a capacity maximum that is handed to us, and that we would be within that realm. Obviously there’s going to be less people here than there has been in the past, but I don’t see a quadrant approach working well for our property,” Underberg said.

“We want to have a fair and it is in our plan to have a fair,” Underberg added.

She says if the guidance is 10% and there are other modifications, it may not make sense. Nonetheless, Underberg said looking at the state fair guidance today, she thinks the Erie County Fair will be okay.

Organizers do not want to set a cut off date at this time since they feel they are close to getting that guidance.

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