By Mary Heyl
The Cattaraugus County Fair is taking place at the fairgrounds in Little Valley from July 31 through Aug. 5. Bring the whole family to this annual celebration of local agriculture, family-friendly entertainment and grandstand events all week long. From midway rides to livestock shows, there is no shortage of fun activities at this year’s fair, no matter what day you visit!
Daily General Admission is just $10 and includes an all-day gate pass and unlimited midway rides. A variety of daily entertainment is included in general admission. New for 2017, the Pratt Family Chainsaw Carvers will be creating different sculptures all week long. The family’s beautiful works of art include a howling wolf, a panda bear, different kinds of owls, and even Star Wars character R2-D2! Mutts Gone Nuts is another new addition to 2017’s line-up. This talented group of dogs has made the incredible leap “from shelters to showbiz” through their comical performances that have delighted fans all over the country including former First Lady Barbara Bush and recording artists Lee Greenwood and Kenny Rogers.
The exhibits in the Youth Building are a must-see, as many 4-H students embrace their creative side to share their work in areas such as ecology and agriculture. Additionally, students take a hands-on approach to the environment by showcasing home-grown produce, maple syrup, cut flowers, and other displays of horticulture. Many 4-H students participate in the Family and Consumer Science aspect of the fair by entering their homemade and handmade items. Such items include baked goods, needlework, photography, and other crafts. Ribbons and cash prizes are awarded during the weekend before the fair opens, and fair-goers can see the result of the students’ hard work all week long.
Fair-goers have several opportunities to observe the end result of 4-H students’ hard work at the many 4-H shows, including the goat shows, pig shows, rabbit shows, sheep shows, horse shows, and more. On Saturday, Aug. 5 at 1 p.m., the Market Animal Sale takes place in the Livestock Arena, where students may receive the tangible benefits of raising livestock for the fair. Businesses and individuals can participate in the bidding process or simply watch the sale.
Get tickets now for country star Joe Nichols, who will be performing live at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug.3. Nichols is a multi-platinum, four-time Grammy nominated recording artist who became one of only two artists in 2014 to spend more than two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart when his single, “Yeah,” held the top spot for three weeks (the other artist was Luke Bryan).
A native of Rogers, AR, Nichols went from working nights as a country music disc jockey to touring with Alan Jackson and Toby Keith in 2004. He is now known as one of country music’s most praised traditional country artists with six No. 1 hits and eight Top Ten singles including chart-toppers “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” and “Gimme That Girl.” Nichols has earned multiple RIAA platinum and gold certifications for his hit albums and singles.
Tickets are $35 for track seats, $30 for bleacher seats, and $28 for grandstand seating. Tickets can be purchased now at Little Valley Sand & Gravel Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling (716)938-9146.
The weekend grandstand events include the Monster Mash Truck Rally and Kids Power Wheels Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4. On Saturday, Aug. 5 fair-goers can enjoy the Monster Mash Truck Rally at 1 p.m. and the Big Rig Truck Pull at 6:30 p.m. The week concludes on Sunday, August 6 with the World’s Largest Demolition Derby by JM Productions at 5 p.m. Please note that these weekend grandstand events (Friday through Sunday) are not included in general admission and have an additional $7 grandstand charge.
General Admission to the fair is $10, but fair-goers can save by purchasing pre-sale tickets now through July 30. Presale tickets are $8 each and are available at the Fairgrounds, Cattaraugus County Bank locations in Dunkirk, Franklinville, Jamestown, Little Valley, Salamanca, Springville and South Dayton, and Olean Area Community Banks. On Youth Days, Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 1 and 2, general admission for children ages 15 and under is $6 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Thursday, Aug. 3 is Senior Citizen Day, when general admission is also discounted to $6 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information about the Cattaraugus County Fair, visit www.cattarauguscofair.com or call (716)938-9146.