Hamburg is a large town on the western edge of Erie County, bordered to the north by the cities of Lackawanna and Buffalo, to the east by Orchard Park, to the south by the towns of Evans, Eden and Boston, and to the west by Lake Erie. Hamburg has a population of about 57,000 and includes a village also called Hamburg, the village of Blasdell, and several lakeside hamlets and communities. The Erie County Fair is held annually in August at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, and Buffalo Raceway is inside the fairgrounds. A casino with about 1,000 gaming machines is also at the fairgrounds. The Seaway Trail, a National Scenic Byway, travel through Hamburg along the shore of Lake Erie.
A trolley system ran in town in the early 1900s, and Hamburg was one of the first communities to institute mandatory curbside recycling in the 1970s. Main Street in the village of Hamburg was recently named a national historic district. Many people moved here in the late 1800s and early 1900s to support the then-bustling steel industry. In 2003, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, asked town officials to change the name to “Veggieburg,” but the request was turned down.
The Hamburg Fairgrounds and casino are probably the best known sites in town. The Kleis Site, which contains the remnants of a 17th century Iroquois village and burial ground, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center is run by the Hamburg Natural Society and offers summer camps. The Hamburg Historical Society operates out of the Boise-Lord House.