by Jeff Cole
LITTLE VALLEY – Genre variety in musical acts, new automotive entertainment and some returning favorites characterize the grandstand lineup in this year’s Cattaraugus County Fair.
For the past 14 years, the fair has featured exclusively country music entertainment, according to Kristina Charlesworth, treasurer of the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society, which runs the fair. With southern rock band .38 Special and the rock/blues group Jeff Fetterman Band joining country music performers Josh Turner and Mallary Hope as the fair’s musical entertainers for this year, concert-goers can now either boogie down or rock out.
“I think it’s going to give a little more variety to those people who didn’t necessarily want to come to a country (music concert),” said Ms. Charlesworth.
Known for such arena-pop classics as “Hold on Loosely” and “Caught up in You,” .38 Special will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 1, with special guest The Jeff Fetterman Band. Josh Turner, who has sold more than 5 million albums and garnered numerous multi-week No. 1 hits, will take the stage at 8 p.m. Aug. 2, with special guest star Mallary Hope.
Tickets to .38 Special are $20 for track seating and $15 for grandstand seating. The cost for the Josh Turner concert is $35 for track seating, $30 for bleacher seating and $28 for grandstand seating. The track seats to the Josh Turner concert, according to Ms. Charlesworth, are selling fast.
Before any musical act takes the stage there, the grandstand will serve as the venue for a demolition derby at 7:30 p.m. July 30. The Western New York small car and large car demolition derbies will also take place there at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5. The derbies are usually very successful, according to Ms. Charlesworth.
“We just had one for July Fourth and it was one of the most record crowds that we’ve ever had at that show,” she said.
Another returning favorite to the fair is monster mash truck rally, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3. The rally will feature some returning trucks, such as Bigfoot, Aftershock and Crazy Train, a new truck, Toxic, and trucks that are not from the area, Sampson and Illuminator.
“The kids really enjoy the monster trucks, so it’s kind of fun to see that. We have a pit party ahead of the monster truck show. You can come to that when you’ve got your paid grandstand admission to meet the drivers and see the trucks up close. You can walk right down on the track and see them. It’s kind of fun to see the kids and the “big kids” come up and see the trucks,” said Ms. Charlesworth.
As for new events, Tony Petersen’s Hell Drivers will perform a variety of automobile tricks and stunts at 7:30 p.m. July 31 at the grandstand, ranging from two-wheel driving to deliberate crashes to jumping over other vehicles. The show will return to the fair for the first time in many years.
Another new grandstand-held event is the USA East Sanctioned Big Rig Truck Pull, which, along with the fan-favorite Western New York Pro Stock Tractor Pull, will occur at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4. According to www.cattarauguscofair.com, the world-famous Big Rigs Pulling Series is the oldest and the best of the modified semi-truck pulling programs and features a number of former national and regional championship trucks. The WNY tractor pullers are based out of Springville.
General admission to the fair covers the gate and rides and is $9, while presale admission, which is available until July 29, is $7. The cost for Senior Citizen Day, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 2, is $6, as is the cost on 15-and-under youth day, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 1. The monster truck rally, the truck and tractor pulls and the WNY championship large and small car demolition derbies also carry a $5 charge in addition to the price of admission to the fair.
Presale fair tickets are on sale at the fairgrounds;
Cattaraugus County Banks in Little Valley, Salamanca, Jamestown, Randolph, Springville, Cherry Creek, South Dayton, Franklinville and Dunkirk; Olean Area Community Banks; and the Gowanda Area Credit Union.
Tickets are also available at the Ellicottville Times office, located at 1 Washington St., room 12. Pur hours vary, so please call first – 699-4062.