Traditions continue at Wyoming County Fair
An hour's drive southeast of Buffalo, the Wyoming County Fair continues through Saturday in the tiny village of Pike, New York, its location for over 65 years.
"Prior to that point, it was a moving fair and it would move throughout various towns that would host it," explains Mike Roche, the superintendent of this year's fair.
"They wanted to settle down. Pike at that time had potato farmers and there were potato storages that were available at this time of the year. That's what they used for some of the (fair) buildings. Potato storages and tents."
Those temporary housings have been replaced by permanent buildings, including People's Hall.
"Did you know that little, old people park themselves in front of People's Hall and just meet-and-greet?" said Connie Weaver, the fair's treasurer and secretary. "Meet-and-greet. they have places that they see each other....once-a-year."
Roche and Weaver are part of a panel of volunteer officers who work to keep the fair organized. Roche has been there for 25 years. Weaver says she first became an officer in 1973. Prior to that she attended the fair frequently. Her father taught agriculture at a Wyoming County school.
Weaver says she writes paychecks from June to September to a handful of employees. Most of the fair is run by volunteers. A large food stand acts as a fundraiser for the Pike Fire Department. The rescue squads from the towns of Wyoming County take turns manning the fair's first aid stand.
As New York State's leading dairy producer, Wyoming County's fair has plenty of livestock, ably handled by the youth of the most active 4-H organization in the state. A sign nearby welcomes you to Join (4-H) The Revolution of Responsibility."
There's no admission fee to gain entrance to the fair. The going rate for parking is $5.
Taking the back roads, past the windmills and over the rugged hills of Wyoming County provides a satisfying journey to Pike. It finishes with a memorable, magnificent view of Pike and the surrounding valley.
A simpler course is to take Route 78 to Route 19 south.