There are few places where you can brush up on your llama knowledge, wax nostalgic with a Van Halen tribute band and guzzle bacon lemonade -- and we're fortunate to have such an eccentric destination in our own backyard.
For many, Friday marks the first chance to go truly wild at the Erie County Fair, as there's little fear of having to endure a rough morning-after in your cubicle nursing a stomachache caused by rapid ingestion of a doughnut burger.
And, if you find yourself getting riled up during the high-energy Hit-N-Run show, the prospect of a long Saturday slumber should provide some mental comfort.
As usual, we highlight three events on the Fair schedule in moderate detail, then post the entire daily schedule at the very bottom.
1) From a quick peek through the day's schedule, you'll find one word that appears more than the others -- llamas. Though domesticated animals aren't a Fair rarity, llamas seem to need a little extra push to go through the daily routine. Maybe that's why Friday is so llama-heavy. I mean, listen to NationalGeographic.com's depiction:
"An overloaded llama will simply refuse to move. These animals often lie down on the ground and they may spit, hiss, or even kick at their owners until their burden is lessened."
So, if you attend the llama-centric events at 3 (Historical Building), 4 (Harvest Theater), 5 (also at Harvest Theater), and 6 p.m. -- the llama main event (Livestock Arena), remember to be sensitive and avoid hump jokes at all costs. (Note how there are no llama races. Perhaps that's a good question to ask at one of the earlier events just mentioned.)
2) Cover bands -- Hit-N-Run at 7 p.m. in the Carousel Room and 1984, the Ultimate Van Halen Tribute Band at 8:30 at the Gusto Grandstand. The former always draws a crowd, while the Orlando-based latter -- despite not having a real-life Sammy Hagar or David Lee Roth -- can roll through "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and "Jump."
3) John Cassidy, the Bizarre Balloonologist: He doesn't hold just one Guinness Book of World Records feat -- he has three. We doubt there's anyone in Western New York who can compete with Cassidy's balloon wizardry -- speed or finesse. There's no shame in boasting a world-renowned talent, even if it involves inflating and shaping balloons.