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Now in Day 4, the Erie County Fair is hitting full stride. That Polar Vortex you've been reading about shouldn't sadden us until September, and this weekend is expected to be downright balmy. While headliners Dierks Bentley and Lady Antebellum are still a few days off, the Gusto Grandstand lights up with a former Disney pop star in Bridgit Mendler -- not a Mickey Mouse Cl…

Family

I was telling people it would be my first time at a county fair, any county fair. The responses I received in return were mostly based on some variation of the theme shock. I then had a friend remind me that I had once attended the Marin County Fair in the county directly north, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. So, yes, I am a fraud. But in my limited def…

Family

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 you…

Family

As the lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival and as a solo artist, John Fogerty’s voice has been heard on some of the most beloved songs in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. He also might be responsible for some of the most mangled lyrics ever sung by people trying to sing along. Fogerty will take the stage at the Erie County Fair tonight and fans can expect to hear so…

Family

String players tune, an alligator crawls impatiently, and restless swine toss and turn deep into the night. The 175th anniversary of the Erie County Fair is finally upon us, and the festivities commence at noon Wednesday at the Hamburg Fairgrounds (5820 South Park Ave., Hamburg). As we will each day through Aug. 17, a daily planner post -- replete with recommended activi…

Art

For an event now in its 10th year, the 11-day Buffalo Infringement Festival is still a source of confusion for many Western New Yorkers. Why, the casual Allentown visitor might reasonably ask, is a man dressed in a banana suit declaiming poetry to a small group of scraggly onlookers outside of Nietzsche’s? What could possibly be the intent of the person in a red bodysuit …

Comedy

It all starts with Lucille Ball – and next week, she will be remembered – and laughed about – in grand fashion. Once a year, coinciding with the comedienne’s Aug. 6 birthday, legions of Lucy lovers from around the country and overseas converge on Jamestown for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. The five-day event, which starts Wednesday and continues through Aug. 10, inclu…

Family

The final weekend before the Erie County Fair is anything but blase. Perhaps the chief reason for excitement is just how different each of this weekend's options are: You can revel in tasty sweet corn, take endless rides of Ferris wheels, eat desserts with bacon in them, embrace the passion of Michael W. Smith and even pull some tractors. We'll shine the spotlight on thr…

Featured

Toni Ruberto's Gusto cover story "175 reasons to love the 175th Erie County Fair" was as popular as we figured it would be. But of course she could have kept going well past 175, as several online readers helpfully pointed out. With that in mind, here are reasons 176 and beyond to love the fair, which starts next week in Hamburg: *Wine slushies *The post-wine slushy Tu…

Featured

On Wednesday, the Erie County Fair opens at the Hamburg Fairgrounds for 12 days packed with food, fun, games, entertainment, monster trucks and more food. Celebrating its 175th year, the fair remains youthful in its appeal as it continues to draw more than 1 million visitors a year. What’s the draw? We’ll start with 175 reasons to love the fair this summer – you can feel …

Buffalo

For the second year in a row, the West Side of Buffalo will feel like Burma for a day.The second annual Burmese Water Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday on Grant Street, between West Ferry and Hampshire Streets.Burmese foods, dress, music and dancing will take over the West Side. In addition, the festival includes traditional water-related “blessings,…

Festivals

For the second year in a row, the West Side of Buffalo will feel like Burma for a day.The second annual Burmese Water Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday on Grant Street, between West Ferry and Hampshire Streets.Burmese foods, dress, music and dancing will take over the West Side. In addition, the festival includes traditional water-related “ble…

Family

“Down-home blues, down-home blues,” the song goes. “All she wants to hear are those down-home blues ...”Buffalo’s got them.Every summer, a new feeling wafts through the air. Well, make that an old feeling. It’s the vibe of bygone juke joints like the Pine Grill, the Moonglo and the Little Harlem Hotel. It’s the honk of a beat-up saxophone, the wail of the Hammond B3. It’s …

Family

“Down-home blues, down-home blues,” the song goes. “All she wants to hear are those down-home blues ...” Buffalo’s got them. Every summer, a new feeling wafts through the air. Well, make that an old feeling. It’s the vibe of bygone juke joints like the Pine Grill, the Moonglo and the Little Harlem Hotel. It’s the honk of a beat-up saxophone, the wail of the Hammond B3. I…

Art

For the next 11 days, should you venture anywhere near Allentown, you’re likely to stumble upon some strange, unexpected and potentially intoxicating sights.It might be a motley crew of hula hoopers swiveling their hips en masse in Days Park. It might be a clattering parade of body-painted revelers playing homemade instruments as they march south along Elmwood Avenu…