While the Erie County Fair is right around the corner, one beloved tradition won’t be making its way back in time.

Fair officials say Strates Shows, the family-owned midway operator of the fair, will deliver its games and rides by truck this year, and not by train.

Organizers say that by the time they received approval from the state to hold the fair, it was too late to coordinate the locomotive’s return.

“For generations, the annual arrival of the James E. Strates Shows train has been a highly anticipated event for fairgoers and enthusiasts of Americana,” Erie County officials said in a press release. “This past year’s pandemic has had a significant impact on many long-time family traditions – and the Strates Show arrival by train can be added to that list. In 2021, the rides and equipment coming to the Erie County Fair will be transported to the fairgrounds by trucks, not via train. Over the decades, the logistics involved in moving Strates Shows' employees and equipment has developed into a precise science and by the time approval was received allowing the Erie County Fair to hold the fair, it was too late to coordinate train scheduling and routing.” 

Fair staff say their partnership with Strates Shows is in its 96th year, making it the longest continuous run of any carnival midway in the country.

You can check out the fun for yourself August 11 – 22 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.