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Erie County Fair

Where: Hamburg Fairgrounds, 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg

When: Through Aug. 18.

Gate times: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Aug. 18.

Building hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Midway: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Admission: $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, children ages 12 and younger admitted free.

For paid concerts, tickets are available at www.tickets.com, the Fairgrounds Event Center, or by calling (888) 223-6000. Grandstand tickets purchased in advance include free fair admission on the day of the show.

For info and full schedule, visit www.ecfair.org

Try to count the daily events at the Erie County Fair, now in full swing at the Hamburg Fairgrounds through Aug. 18. You’ll probably get up to 60, maybe 70 when you realize many events (Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show, Sea Lion Splash, New York State Police Demonstrations) are taking place multiple times a day.

Others are continuous through three, four and even eight-hour time frames (Loom Weaving and Spinning, 4-H presentations, face painting, craftmaking).

Can we even count the food wagons and tents? (No, but we’ll still try to eat our way through all of them.)

The number of things to do at the 174th Erie County Fair may be daunting, but that’s the fun of it. Here’s info to help you get started with a few highlights from each day, plus tips and ticket info. Once you get there, just follow your favorite smells, sights and sounds.

Tips

Parking. Cars $5, vans $10. Buy your parking online in advance and you’ll get a preferred spot. For accessible parking, use the lots off Quinby Avenue.

Get social. Download the fair app for directions, fairgrounds map, highlights, lists of exhibitors and the ever-handy “find my car” feature. Follow the fair on Facebook and Twitter (@eriecountyfair).

Early birds save bucks. Starting Monday, arrive before 11 a.m. weekdays and get in for half-price, $5.

Don’t forget your school I.D. Starting Friday, students ages 13-22 with identification pay $5 after 5 p.m.

Bring a kid. Any kid. Youngsters 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult.

Shop at Tops? Bring an original Tops receipt on a weekday and you can ride the Midway all day for $20.

Take the tram. For only a quarter, hop on the tram and ride the fairgrounds. Proceeds benefit the WNY Shriners.

New

This may be the 174th Erie County Fair, but there’s plenty new again this year. Here are some highlights.

Entertainment

Boys from Bushwood. If you think you see guys from “Caddyshack” walking around the grounds, you are – sort of. Say hi and get your photo taken with these impersonators. 3 and 5:30 p.m. daily. WNY Ford Dealers Outdoor Showplace/Channel 7.

Cirque Zuma Zuma. “America’s Got Talent” finalists are an African-style “Cirque du Soleil,” mixing traditional dance, acrobatics and stunts. Noon, 4 and 8 p.m. daily. Tops Avenue of Flags Stage.

Extreme Canines Stunt Show. Think dog tricks and Vegas. This family event will entertain everyone from the youngest members of the gang to adults as canines perform amazing stunts with a sense of doggie humor. 11:30 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. daily Inside 5.

Flippenout Trampoline Show. You’ve heard about extreme sports. Well how about extreme trampoline? This nationally known outfit brings snowboards, skis and “cirque-style” action. 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. daily. Kiddieland.

Lasertainment. End your day at the fair with this nighttime laserlight show. 10 p.m. Behind the Hamburg Casino.

Food

For many of us, the fair is synonomous with food, especially the “deep-fried” variety. New this summer are: Bacon Bomb, Deep Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll, Alligator and Shark Kabobs/Nugget Bites, Deep Fried Oversized Gummy Bears, Deep Fried Rice Krispies, Jumbo Smoked Turkey Wings, Shrimp Dogs and the Pig Butt on a Stick (sure to make kids everywhere giggle).

Competitions

Like to eat? Want to compete? If you’re 18 and older, you are invited to participate in any of these food-eating contests. Sign up before the event at the Pine Grove Stage. All contests start at 1 p.m.

Monday: Ice Cream. Five minutes and a half gallon of Nick Charlap’s vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday: Pulled Pork. Five minutes and a three-pound pan of BW’s Pulled Pork.

Wednesday: Pie Eating. Five minutes and an apple pie.

Next Thursday: Fried Dough. Who can eat four servings of fried dough the fastest?

Aug. 16: Turkey Leg. Ten minutes to chow down as many turkey legs as possible.

Daily

There’s a slew of daily activities, especially for the kiddies. Here are just a few.

Help feed a baby calf. Noon and 5 p.m. Ag-sperience.

Backyard Circus and Puppet Parade. Kids can dress up and play along. 11 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m. Stroller Square Park (parade times are 30 minutes later).

Sea Lion Splash. The ever-popular attraction returns. 1, 3, 5 and 9 p.m. Inside Gate 5.

Parade. The traditional Erie County parade will wind its way through the fairgrounds with floats, clowns, the Pepsi-Cola Marching Band and more. 4 p.m. The parade starts at Gate 1 and ends at Gate 5.

Swifty Swine Racing Pigs. Cheer on your favorite pig. 10:30 a.m., 12:30, 2:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Baker Park.

John Cassidy, the Bizarre Balloonologist. 1 and 7:30 p.m. Tops Avenue of Flags Stage.

Today

Noon. Entertainment starts in the Family Entertainment Complex with the first of three daily shows by Cirque Zuma Zuma (also at 4 and 8 p.m.). Entertainment is by the hour and includes Gary the Silent Clown at 6 p.m. and the Nickel City Wildlife Show at 9 p.m.

7 p.m. Elvis (as performed by Terry Buchwald) is in the building. The Carousel Room, that is.

8 p.m. Sawyer Brown with Buffalo native Maddie Larkin. Grandstand. Free.

Friday (Firefighters Day)

11:30 a.m. Maxi Talent show. Youth ages 13 and older will showcase their special talents in 3 minutes. Tops Avenue of Flags Stage.

6:30 p.m. Firefighters Parade. Starts in Grandstand.

8:30 p.m. Hotel California, the original Eagles tribute band. Grandstand. Free.

Saturday

Bring a canned food donation and pay just $20 to ride all day. Your donation helps the Food Bank of Western New York.

9 a.m. On your mark, get set and register at 7:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. Erie County Fair 5K. Benefits Special Olympics of NY. Grandstand.

Noon. Mini Talent show for kids 12 and younger. Tops Avenue of Flags Stage.

4:30 p.m. Canines on the Catwalk. Why go home with a stuffed dog, when you can have the real thing? The most eligible dogs from the area will be showcased by the SPCA Whisker Wagon. Make a donation or better yet adopt. Pine Grove Stage.

8 p.m. Buffalo’s Corey Wells returns with Three Dog Night. Grandstand. Free.

Sunday (Veterans Day)

1 p.m. The annual Veterans Day Parade showcases active military and veterans who will march the track in the Grandstand.

1:30 to 3 p.m. Nelson Piquet Jr. NASCAR driver Piquet will be on hand to meet fans. Inside Gate 4.

4 p.m. Veterans Day Honoring Ceremony. The Nya:Weh Indian Village hosts this ceremony which includes a presentation of colors and introduction of veterans.

7:30 p.m. You’ve never seen a rodeo like this. It’s Cowboy Kenny’s Steel Rodeo, a freestyle motocross exhibition. Grandstand. Free.

Monday

Noon: Lightweight Horse Pull. Grandstand. Free.

7:30 p.m. Austin Mahone. You may have seen this teen sensation on YouTube, now you can see him in person. Jake Miller opens. Grandstand. $25-$40.

Tuesday

Noon. Heavyweight Horse Pull. Grandstand. Free.

8 p.m. Blood, Sweat & Tears. Grandstand. Free

Wednesday

10 a.m. to noon. Cupcake makers are encouraged to bring their tastiest treats to the fair for a taste testing and judging.

2:30 p.m. Daredevil Nik Wallenda has conquered the Falls, now he’s set his sights on the fair. Meet him on the Historical Building Lawn.

5:30 p.m. Those Idiots Show Band. Traditional polka tunes from these Dyngus Day favorites. Tops Avenue of Flags Stage.

7 p.m. Gary Allan Live. Country hitmaker’s latest single, “Every Storm (Runs out of Rain”) is a No. 1 hit. Josh Thompson opens. Grandstand. $45-$60.

Next Thursday

4 p.m. Open Class Swine Show. Showplex.
5:30 p.m. Penny Squares with the Hamburg Thursday Quilters. Historical Building.

7 p.m. Ultimate Night of Destruction. Monster trucks, bus derby and more. Grandstand. $16 general admission; kids 12 and younger admitted free with paid adult.

Aug. 16

2 p.m. Operation Safe Child ID Cards. Erie County Sheriff’s Building.

5 p.m. Michael Bastine book signing. Historical Building.

6 p.m. Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Truck & Tractor Pull. Grandstand. $12-$20; kids 12 and younger free with paid adult.

Aug. 17

Noon. Erie County Sheriff’s Bomb Detecting Dog Demonstrations. Tops Avenue of Flags Stage.

1 p.m. Darcy Thiel book signing. Historical Building.

6 p.m. Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Truck & Tractor Pull. Grandstand. $12-$20; kids 12 and younger free with paid adult.

Aug. 18

9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. English Horse Show championship. Horse Show Ring 1.

11 a.m. Nya:Weh Indian Village Dance Troupe.

1:30 p.m. 4-H Dog Show. Showplex.

1 and 7 p.m. World’s Largest Demotion Derby. Crash ’em and smash ’em up at this fair tradition featuring Bounty Hunter and Iron Outlaw. Grandstand. $16.