Retailers Count on the Fair

August 18, 2010 Updated Aug 18, 2010 at 7:54 AM EDT

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August 18, 2010 Updated Aug 18, 2010 at 7:54 AM EDT

Many area companies rely on annual sales at the Erie County Fair. This year, officials at the fairgrounds say they have approximately 143 food vendors, plus about 95 on the midway. And there are about 700 retail sales sites set up. CEO Dennis Lang says the fair creates between 700 and 750 jobs for two weeks every summer.

Lang says working 12 hour shifts in the heat is hard work especially for retailers who are used to working indoors for 8 hours a day, but he says the fair is an ideal marketing tool for businesses. "It gives the local vendors that come to the fair and display an opportunity to have a million prospects walk by their products or walk by their items that they have for sale and it gives them a great opportunity for exposure," Lang said.

Fairgoers can find a variety of items ranging in price from a dollar to thousands of dollars. Lang says it may seem surprising, but people do buy big ticket items at the fair like hot tubs and sheds. He says those items are always popular.

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