It's Fair Time!

   This great nation of ours has a long history of communities coming together once a year and celebrating … gather your family together because the Cattaraugus County Fair is almost upon us!
   In existence for over 150 years (since 1842!), the Cattaraugus County Fair offers concerts, rides, animal exhibits and all of the fried dough and tantalizing taffy your teeth can handle. Located at the Fairgrounds in Little Valley, NY, expect this year’s fair to be one for the books. 
   The premise of the fair revolves around agriculture.  It’s no secret - we live in a rural community rich with character and tradition.  The fair provides an outlet for all walks of agriculture to shine.  From daily 4-H shows to animal performances to a petting zoo, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy here, regardless of age or background.
   One of the notable acts this year includes the All Breeds Horse Show, taking place Friday through Sunday.  Not into horses?  How about the dog shows on Thursday, or the Barnyard Olympics?  One of my personal favorites, is the Swifty Swine Racing Pigs (who knew pigs could fly?!) with daily performances by these little rascals.
   Two of the most unique animal-centric features at this year’s Fair that you won’t want to miss are The Wild World of Animals and The Marvelous Mutts.  The Wild World of Animals, which brings a wide variety of creatures of the animal kingdom, blends humor, education and engagement. The show has been all over the country, and “volunteers” will be able to interact directly with the show and its creatures.
   The Fair is a great way to see parts of the community you might otherwise not. A week-long celebration (July 29-Aug. 4), each day highlights something fun for the entire family.  The Grandstand will host something every night, starting and ending with the demolition derby. (If you’ve never been to one, you really need to check it out. Because it’s just that awesome!  Standby.)  Other grandstand events include the famed monster truck rally (who doesn’t love Bigfoot smashing cars) and the truck and tractor pull. Ever wonder what a jet powered 20,000 lb. semi can do?  This is the place to be to find out (not to mention what a sound these things make!)
   Along with all of this, two top-notch concerts are scheduled for this year’s Fair: The Fox Brothers, a (you guessed it) family of brothers who infuse comedy into their unbelievable country routine, will take the stage on Wednesday evening.  This show is FREE!  Coming straight out of Tennessee, The Fox Brothers are world-renowned. 
   Thursdaywill welcome this year’s headliner – country sensation Justin Moore. The superstar’s 2009 self-titled debut album hit No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart. Hailing from down south, Moore has been known to make crowds go crazy with his down-to-Earth persona and catchy melodies.  For ticket pricing, call 716-938-9146.
   On the first day of the Fair, there’s an event that you do not want to miss. The Demolition Derby. Ellicottville native James Czora has participated in the past three and this will be year no. 4. 
   “The Derby is a rush like no other,” Czora said. “I never got into any sort of car accident before the Derby, and sitting next to nine other cars knowing that you’re about to get into multiple accidents is awesome.” 
   Wearing the 42/78 logo proudly (the terrain parks at Holiday Valley) Czora’s sponsors include Holiday Valley Resort, the Gin Mill, John Harvard’s Brew House, Aldrich Painting, and The Clinton of Salamanca. 
   “In all honestly, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this without the huge support from the people sponsoring us,” Czora said. “Big thanks to everyone. Hopefully we bring home a trophy this year!” 
   So how does one get involved with the Demolition Derby?  “You start by finding a car that can at least go forward/backward a little,” Czora explained. “Then you’ve got to talk your friends into doing it with you. Building the car is a riot, especially when you’ve got said friends involved. On a scale of 1-epic, the Derby is epic.” 
   Besides the Derby, the concerts, and the games, the Fair also boasts tons of food vendors and local businesses. There’s beer for the adults, an exhilarating midway for the kids and fun to be had by everybody.  So plan on attending at least a few days this year in order to take in all that’s available.
   General Admission to this year’s Cattaraugus County Fair (which includes gates and rides) is $9.  Pre-sale General Admission tickets are $7 and will be available until July 28. Tickets are available at the Fairgrounds and at any Cattaraugus County Bank location. Youth Day (15 and under) is Wednesday, July 31 ($6), and Senior Citizen Day is Thursday, Aug. 1 ($6).  For more information, head to Google and search Cattaraugus County Fair.
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