By Mary Heyl
Now in its 175th year, the 2016 Cattaraugus County Fair is taking place at the Little Valley fairgrounds from August 1 through August 7!
Not only is the fair a celebration of the agricultural feats of area residents, it is also a hub of family entertainment and excitement all week long. From the midway rides to the monster truck rallies, there is no shortage of activities at this year’s fair, which promises to be a bigger event than ever!
The Agriculture Center is a must-see part of the fair, as the animal shows are an anticipated annual event. Proud 4-H students demonstrate their hard work in raising, grooming, handling, and presenting their animals before a panel of judges. Fair-goers can tour the agriculture barns and meet students’ goats, donkeys, mules, rabbits, sheep, chickens and more throughout the week of the fair.
The fair also celebrates such agricultural achievements as home-grown vegetables, flowers, canned goods and other farm products; county residents will bring their best for the judges to examine and sample before the first day of the fair.
Daily General Admission includes an all-day gate pass and unlimited midway rides. A variety of daily entertainment is included in general admission; visitors can look forward to new attractions at this year’s fair, as well as the return of last year’s favorite performers.
New for 2016, Brunon Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tigers will be performing throughout the day. Blaszak is a third generation tiger trainer who will be working with his mother, Ada Smieya-Blaszak, who is a professional trainer and graduate of the Polish State Circus School.
Commerford’s Petting Zoo is returning to the fair this year with their exotic animals: visit the camels, ponies and kangaroos all day throughout the week of the fair. The Swifty Swine Racing and Swimming Pigs will also be a part of this year’s fair—according to “Swine Master” Zach Johnson: “You haven’t lived until you’ve seen these racing pigs compete for the grand prize, an Oreo cookie!”
During the first three days of the fair, evening grandstand entertainment (nightly at 7:30 p.m.) is included in the price of general admission. On Monday, the Demolition Derby takes place and on Tuesday, fair-goers can enjoy a night of Drag Racing. Cars return to the race track on Wednesday for JM Motorsport Productions’ Double Figure 8 races, with the winner capturing a $1,000 cash prize and a championship trophy! Interested drivers can be a part of the action on Wednesday night by contacting JM Motorsport Productions at (716) 980-6533 or visiting www.jmderby.com.
The fair kicks off the long weekend of exciting grandstand entertainment on Thursday, when country star Dustin Lynch, with special guest Jordan Rager, will be performing live at 8 p.m. Known for his mega hits “Cowboys and Angels,” “Hell of a Night,” and “Where It’s At,” Lynch is one of the leading voices in country music’s newest generation of stars.
Tickets to see this platinum-selling artist are still available! Ticket prices are $38 for track seating, $33 for bleachers, and $30 for grandstand seating and can be purchased at the fairgrounds or by calling (716) 938-9146.
Grandstand entertainment continues throughout the weekend with the Monster Mash Truck Rallies on Friday, August 5 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, August 6 at 1 p.m. Mike Vaters Jr. and his Overkill Evolution monster truck, as well as Jimmy Creten and his Bounty Hunter monster truck, will be highlighting both shows. Overkill Evolution won the 2014 Young Guns Shootout championship at the World Finals in Las Vegas and then came back the next year to capture the Monster Jam World Freestyle championship. In doing so, Vaters and Overkill Evolution became the first driver and truck to ever win the Young Guns one year and the World Finals the next.
Creten’s Bounty Hunter has consistently been one of the best performing trucks at the Las Vegas World Finals and is a former Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle champion. In addition, the widely acclaimed Higher Education and Scarlett Bandit Monster Trucks are scheduled to appear and perform.
Although general admission does not include Friday and Saturday’s Monster Mash Truck Rallies, the grandstand charge for each performance is just $6. There will also be a Power Wheels Demolition Derby for children ages 4-9 at both shows with an entry fee of $5. Also on Saturday, the Big Rig Truck Pull is taking place at 6:30 p.m., and on Sunday, the fair’s grandstand entertainment concludes with the World’s Largest Demolition Derby at 5 p.m.
General Admission to the fair is $10, but fair-goers can save by purchasing pre-sale tickets now through July 31! Presale tickets are just $7 each and are available at the fairgrounds, Cattaraugus County Bank locations and Olean Area Community Banks.
On Youth Day, Wednesday, August 3, general admission for children ages 15 and under is $6 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Thursday, August 4 is Senior Citizen Day, when general admission is also discounted to $6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the Cattaraugus County Fair, visit www.cattarauguscofair.com or call (716) 938-9146.