Erie County Fair Update and John Menches Talks About the First Hamburger on This Week’s State of Greater Western New York Report – May 27, 2021

The good news is New York State has finally stopped playing ping-pong with the Erie County Fair and this year’s Fair is going to happen. The not-so-good news, the already short staff (which suffered from layoffs last year during the height of the pandemic) has to squeeze all the annual planning into a few short weeks leading up to the start of this year’s Fair the second week of August. While many of your favorite food vendors and shows will be there, expect things to be a little different, especially how you buy your tickets. We cover all the latest so you will know how best to experience the 12 days of “Summertopia.” This is an event where people travel from all across the Greater Western New York region to attend.

Did you know what famous fast food was invented at the Erie County Fair? Extensive research shows Akron, Ohio food concessionaires Charles and Frank Menches sold the first “hamburg sandwich” on Friday, September 18, 1885, during the last day of the Erie County Fair (a.k.a. “Hamburg Fair” – get it?). We are pleased to interview John Menches, great-great-grandson of Charles Menches who reveals the struggles his family had growing up within their own community when he and his siblings would tell skeptical classmates of their family’s invention, what it was like to finally receive vindication from historians, and how they found the actual recipe – although they didn’t realize it at first – stashed away in an old family heirloom.

John happliy answered questions from the live audience. Would you like to be a member of our live audience so you can ask our guests questions? Click here to join the growing number of members who share your feelings on because then we can automatically send you the link to watch our shows live.

Theme music by mansardian courtesy of under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0

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