What’s New & Different at This Year’s Erie County Fair on This Week’s State of Greater Western New York Report – August 12, 2021

It’s been a mainstay of summer since the mid-1800s and everyone is excited to have it back this year after getting Covid canceled last year. But do you know the strange fact about the Erie County Fair? Find out on this week’s State of Greater Western New York Report!

The first segment of the show briefly discusses the history and some fun facts about the Fair. Jessica Underberg, CEO of the Erie County Fair, explains how her staff has had to cope with Covid. She tells us how canceled and rescheduled fairs across our region (including the New York State Fair) have caused vendors havoc. Finally, Underberg goes over several new and different things at this year’s Fair, including the one “can’t miss” thing on her personal list.

You can discover a couple of historical items of interest in the show’s second segment. Housed within the Octogan Builder are two historic exhibits, both featuring food at the Erie County Fair. First, we interview John Menches and his grandson Connor in front of the “Menches Brothers Hamburger Stand” exhibit. They tell us – from the perspective of different generations – what it was like growing up and revealing their family’s role in the invention of the hamburger. What finally convinced their disbelieving friends? How did it feel when the family finally connected with the Erie County Fair (originally, it was thought the Menches Brothers hailed from Western New York and it took several years to find their true origins)? Finally, what’s their favorite part of visiting the Fair?

We wrap up the show by interviewing Sal Butera, owner and proprietor of Salvatore’s Pizza Trailer at the top of the Avenue of Flags. By coincidence, around the corner from the Menches Brothers Exhibit is a display of original props used by Sal’s father Sam Butera when he operated the stand. The family stand has been at the Fair every year since 1956.

Our host happily supplied questions from the live audience. In fact, these are probably some of the same questions you had. 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 StateOf.GreaterWesternNewYork.com because then we can automatically send you the link to watch our shows live.

Theme music by mansardian courtesy of FreeSound.org under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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