Erie County Fair finalizing 2021 plans but must remain flexible with changing guidance

CEO Jessica Underberg: "The train is leaving the station on certain things"
Fairgoers enter the Erie County Fairgrounds. August 7, 2019
Fairgoers enter the Erie County Fairgrounds. August 7, 2019 Photo credit WBEN/Mike Baggerman

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Organizers of the Erie County Fair are finalizing plans for the “Best 12 Days of Summer” but are forced to remain flexible in case of any changes to local policy due to COVID-19 cases.

“I joked with our staff at one of our staff meetings that everyone should bring a yoga mat because the best thing we can be this year is flexible,” Jessica Underberg, CEO of the Erie County Agricultural Society, said. “Our staff has done that so kudos to them just as much, if not more, than I have. I will say that at some point, the train is leaving the station on certain things.”

Underberg said they’ll follow whatever the rules are given the situation but explained that some things cannot be changed given the timing of it.

Tickets for the 2021 Erie County Fair are sold exclusively online this year. No tickets will be sold at the gate, which is why Underberg is encouraging those who don’t have access to the internet at home to seek assistance from a family member or go to a library and purchase a ticket.

Planning for this year’s fair has been arguably the most difficult one ever for fair organizers due to the constantly changing circumstances from the government. Last year’s fair was postponed due to the pandemic.

“There are going to be bigger and wider aisles,” Underberg said about changes to this year’s fair. “In buildings and outside, things are going to be laid out differently. Acts that are normally at one location or another have moved.”

Organizers announced the highlights of this year’s fair, which will Arcy, a street artist known for large-scale art, an exhibit with Dromedary camels, plus more than a dozen new foods for this August.

The Erie County Fair runs August 11-22. Tickets cost $14.50 and must be purchased online at www.ECFair.org Tickets are valid for any one day at the fair. There is no additional fee for parking. No tickets will be sold at the gate.