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Just saying the name “fair” conjures sights, sounds and even smells of years gone by and fun days to come. On Wednesday, the 174th Erie County Fair opens at the Hamburg Fairgrounds with all of the usual delights that keep us coming back for more.

There will be midway rides, food (deep fried gummy bears, anyone?), games of chance, food-eating contests (fried dough, ice cream), historical demonstrations and 2,500 animals to see up close and maybe even feed. Oh, did we mention racing pigs, canine stunts, a mooternity ward, laser light shows, parades, puppets, a rappelling tower and four free concerts starting with Sawyer Brown at 8 p.m. next Thursday? Don’t forget the Buffalo.com grandstand with separate paid concerts featuring Three Days Grace and Finger Eleven at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Austin Mahone, Aug. 12 and Gary Allan, Aug. 14.

The fair continues through Aug. 18. Kids 12 and younger are admitted free. Regular gate admission is $10 adults, $7 senior citizens with $5 parking. For the full schedule, visit www.ecfair.org or call 649-3900.

– Toni Ruberto