Tonawanda News

Opinion

August 15, 2013

KEPPELER: In defense of the fair

Tonawanda News — It’s cool to hate on the Erie County Fair.

Admit it. It’s even understandable. It can get pricey, it can be huge and dusty and crowded, the food is ridiculously unhealthy and the sheer gaudy, noisy, over-the-top nature of the midway can be downright unpleasant if you mind that sort of thing. (I sort of like it in small doses.) I hear an increasing amount of grumbling about it from people (who generally don’t plan to attend anyway) about all these things, and they definitely have a point.

Now, me, I like fairs. 

I even like the Erie County Fair. 

And thinking about it, I think it sort of gets a bum rap.

By my best count, I’ve been to seven, maybe eight, of Western New York’s county fairs. Growing up (as the daughter of another fair-lover), they were a summer staple. Cattaraugus County’s fair in Little Valley, 171 years old this year, my “home fair.” Nearby Chautauqua County. What we always called “Pike Fair” (actually the Wyoming County Fair), which I’ve always considered the absolute epitome of little county fairs. 

When I worked in Batavia, I attended the Orleans and Genesee county fairs. Then I moved to Lewiston, and visited Niagara County’s fair. I’ve even visited the State Fair in Syracuse once.

And as diverse as they can be in size and location, the type of their midways and the cost of admission, they all have elements in common. (And I’m not talking about deep-fried anything.)

Now, bear with me ... I’m not changing the subject.

One of my most prized wedding gifts was a beautifully made quilt from a family friend, a woman who pulled in champion-after-champion ribbon for her work at the little Catt. County fair. In my admittedly biased opinion, her work could have been displayed at any number of museum’s I’ve visited — but the fair is where she loved to showcase it.

Text Only
Opinion
  • WALLACE: Be part of the solution I recently attended the Town of Tonawanda's Comprehensive Plan update meeting on Tuesday at the Brounshidle VFW Post in Kenmore. I went as a newspaper reporter but also as a resident of the Village of Kenmore and Town of Tonawanda.

    April 24, 2014

  • CONFER:

    April 23, 2014

  • GUEST VIEW: What young people aren't learning in college The results are distressing to say the least. A recent survey found that only 17 percent of college graduates â€" graduates! â€" knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation, just 42 percent knew the Battle of the Bulge was fought during World War II, and not even two in five could identify term limits for their senators and representatives.

    April 23, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo