It's early August and that means one thing for many Western New York residents -- the Erie County Fair is right around the corner.

The fair didn't happen in 2020 due to the pandemic, but it will officially return next week, starting on Thursday, August 11th, and running until August 22nd.

There are many different things to keep in mind before heading out to the Hamburg Fairgrounds next week.

For one, and this is the most important aspect of the fair this year; tickets must be purchased in advance on the Erie County Fair's website. No tickets will be sold at the gate. Tickets can be bought on smartphones outside the gate or in the parking lot and there will be attendants there to help out.

Also, even though kids under the age of 12 are free, you still must get a ticket for them to gain access to the fairgrounds.

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When you enter the fairgrounds, you may notice a lot of changes in the layout than what you're used to. Erie County Fair Manager/CEO Jessica Underberg says there will be more elbow room and to be aware that things have been shifted around.

“There are going to be bigger wider isles in buildings, outside things are going to be laid out differently. Acts that are at one location have moved so if you are used to seeing something in a certain place, look around, it’s probably just moved,” Erie County Fair Manager Jessica Underberg said.

As of now, no added restrictions have been placed on the fair with recent surges in COVID-19. It's best to watch the Erie County Fair's website to check in on any changes that may take place.

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