HAMBURG (WKBW) What a difference a day makes at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, as crews tear down, pack up, and clean up after what organizers are calling a very successful Erie County Fair.
It was bustling with people and activity on Sunday. On Monday there was some activity, but it was work.
"(Monday) is a total reconfiguration of the grounds. To remove all the stuff that was set up here temporarily and to be cleaned up for events starting tomorrow," CEO and Manager of the Erie County Fair Dennis Lang said.
Tents came down, signs were rolled up, and spaces were swept by vendors and fair workers.
"For us the work begins. We've got to clean all this stuff up and get ready for the next one," Jerry Moran said as he was taking down his tent.
"It takes a couple days at least to get everything cleared out and cleaned up. And just getting the tents down is fine, and then the ground crews come in and do their job. So they can't start until we're done," Chuck Weatherbee said as he unscrewed awning poles.
As cleanup continues, fair officials crunch the numbers. Attendance figures were not record setting this year, but the number is still quite large. Dennis Lang estimated attendance at 1,031,275.
But with the end of the 2012 Erie County Fair, it could also be the end of one of its most recognizable parts; the iron gate one fair entrance.
"So we're trying to evaluate where the attendance comes from, what gates are being utilized properly," Lang said, "so Gate 1, just because the iron gate happens to be there doesn't mean it is the main gate of the fairgrounds."
Due to sagging attendance and safety concerns, posted signs say the gate will be closed to public access starting next year.
And after a twelve day marathon of fair activities and more than a million people in attendance over that time, fair officials had a message for all those involved.
"We just want to say thank you to Western New York. All the vendors, the exhibitors, everybody who brings their art, livestock, the flowers, the attendees, everybody. Because it takes all of us pulling together to put on a successful event," Fair Assistant Manager Jessica Underberg said.