ANGELICA — Allegany County Fair organizers are excited to open up for the 175th annual exhibition of the county’s farm efforts.
Midway rides began arriving early this week, and crews have the stables and exhibition halls ready to fill for the 175th annual Allegany County Fair, said Karen Tripp, president of the Allegany County Agricultural Society. The fair runs from today through Saturday at the Allegany County Fairgrounds.
However, with a number like 175 looming large, thoughts wander to the past.
“It’s pretty amazing it’s lasted,” Tripp said. “You think of all the people who’ve taken it over those 175 years, keeping it going, keeping it growing.”
The first fair was held in 1884, she said, and the fair gave out premiums totalling $142.
The expo would be relatively familiar to visitors from today — with a large focus on the harvest of the county.
“It was a gathering of agriculture-minded people showing off what they did,” she said, with events added on over the years including midway attractions, concerts and competitions to excite crowds; and vendors and politicians seeking to persuade the visitors.
However, two things would differentiate it — the first fair was held Oct. 8, 1844 at the end of the harvest season, and it only lasted one day.
Over the years, the fair grew. By 1846, the fair was a two-day event, later becoming the weeklong exhibition to which visitors flock today. It eventually moved to July where it remains.
But the location only varied once.
“In 1854, the fair was held in Belfast — all the others were held in Angelica,” she said.
LOOKING AHEAD to this year, Tripp noted there are many activities to keep the whole family entertained all week.
Various grandstand events will cap off each evening’s activities. July 15 will be the WNY Pro Farm Pullers, with farm tractors, and street gas and diesel trucks fighting for top honors. July 16 will be the Free For All horse pull. July 17 will feature a car show on the track. July 18 will be the “Boys and Bulls” rodeo. The featured music act, set for July 19, will be country musician Keith Anderson. The show begins at 7:30 p.m., with local group Trigger Happy opening. The final grandstand event will be July 20 at 5 p.m. — the annual demolition derby.
Friday’s show is the return of the country music concert, a long-time draw of the fair, Tripp said.
“We’ve had a lot of comments over the past few years, asking to bring back a country concert,” she said, pleased to have Anderson to perform. “He has some really good songs, he does a good job.”
Fireworks will cap off that evening — a late addition to the week’s schedule, Tripp added.
The admission to the fair for Friday is $10, $4 over the standard admission, she said, which covers all regular admission as well as the concert. There will be no reserved track seating for the show.
“When the grandstand and bleachers are full, there’s standing and dancing room on the track,” she said.
Senior Day is Wednesday, with admission for those 55 and over with proper ID paying $5 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. As Kid’s Day, the fair will also offer longer hours for midway rides and other events that day.
Season tickets are available for $30, while membership tickets are available for $35 — which include voting rights in the ACAS annual meeting in December.
All grandstand events, demonstrations, and commercial and animal exhibits are included.
Strates Shows ride wristbands are $10 Monday through Thursday, and $12 Friday and Saturday. Individual ride tickets are also available.
“They’re the ones who do the Erie County Fair,” Tripp said. “They have some beautiful rides.”
Schedule of events
- 9 a.m., Official Fair Opening
- 9 a.m., 4-H English & Driving, Horse Arena
- 9 a.m., Youth Swine Show (Youth Meat Goats Show to follow), Livestock Arena
- 9 a.m., Open Goat Show, Dairy Arena
- 1 p.m., Grange Program, Mini-Theater
- 2:30 p.m., Youth Livestock Judging, Livestock Arena
- 3 p.m., Strates Rides Open
- 4 p.m., Dave Tucker w/ NipNTuck, Mini-Theater
- 7 p.m., WNY Pro Farm Pullers-Trucks-Farm Tractors Street Gas & Diesel Trucks, Grandstand
- 9 a.m., 4-H Western Horse Show, Horse Show Arena
- 9 a.m., Youth Beef Cattle Show, Dairy Arena
- 9 a.m., Youth Poultry Show, Livestock Arena
- 9:30 a.m., 4-H & FFA Tractor Operators Contest, Track Infield
- 9:30 a.m., Youth Wildlife Judging, Conservation Building
- 11 a.m., Youth Forestry Judging, Livestock Arena
- 11 a.m., Farm Horse Pull, Grandstand
- 12:30 p.m., Youth Sheep Show, Livestock Arena
- 1 p.m., NYS Championship Lightweight Horse Pull, Grandstand
- 2 p.m., Felicity Morrison, Mini-Theater
- 3 p.m., Strates Rides Open,
- 4 p.m., Heidi Noels Performing Arts Studio, Mini-Theater
- 6 p.m., Free For All Horse Pull, Grandstand
- 9 a.m., Youth Dairy Show, Dairy Arena
- 9 a.m., 4-H Dressage & Games, Horse Show Arena
- 11 a.m., Livestock Skill-a-thon, Livestock Arena
- 11 a.m., Baby Contest, Mini-Theater
- Noon, STRATES Rides open early for Kids Day
- Noon, Children’s Pedal Tractor Pull, Mini-Theater area
- 1 p.m., Katelynn Roulo & Jesse Heffley, Mini-Theater
- 1 p.m., Car Show lineup starts, Track
- 2 p.m., STEPS Dance Studio, Mini-Theater
- 2 p.m., Dairy Judging Contest, Dairy Arena
- 3:30 p.m., Treston Hodgkins – Youth Magician, Mini-Theater
- 5 p.m., Youth Market Animal Sale — Poultry & Rabbit Sale, Livestock Arena
- 5 p.m., Olean Theater Workshop, Mini-Theater
- 6 p.m., Youth Market Beef Sale, Dairy Arena
- 6:45 p.m., Youth Market Sheep, Goat & Swine Sale, Livestock Arena
- 6 p.m., Car Show Begins, Track
- 9 a.m., Open Class Dairy Show, Dairy Arena
- 9 a.m., Youth Rabbit Show and Contest, Livestock Arena
- 9 a.m., Open Riding Show, Horse Arena
- 2 p.m., Allegany County Board of Legislators Meeting, Mini Theater
- 3 p.m., STRATES Open Rides
- 4 p.m., Cat Bliss — Vocalist, Mini Theater
- 4 p.m., Youth Horse Judging, Horse Show Arena
- 6:30 p.m., Kids Rodeo, Grandstand
- 7:30 p.m., “Boys and Bulls” Rodeo, Grandstand
- 9 a.m., Youth Goat Show, Livestock Arena
- 9 a.m., Draft Horse Halter Classes, Horse Show Arena
- Noon, Draft Hitch Class and Farm Team Competition, Horse Show Arena
- 3 p.m., STRATES Rides Open
- 4:30 p.m., 4H checkmark, FFA Chicken BBQ, Grange Building
- 5 p.m., Backwoods Cloggers, Mini-Theater
- 5 p.m., “Trigger Happy” — Local Band, Grandstand
- 7:30 p.m., Keith Anderson, country music artist, Grandstand
- After concert, Fireworks display, Grandstand
- 9 a.m., Open Class Beef Show, Dairy Arena
- 11 a.m., Barnyard Olympics, Barn Area
- 11 a.m., Allegany County Talent Show, Mini-Theater
- 1 p.m., STRATES – rides open early
- 2 p.m., Youth Dairy & Livestock Awards, Livestock Arena
- 4 p.m., Kids Power Wheels Demolition Derby
- 5 p.m., Ever Popular Demolition Derby, Grandstand
- 6 p.m., Off the Wagon, Mini-Theater