The U.P. State Fair is only a week away.
For many, Fair Week is a time that is anticipated all year - a time for the entire family to have fun. The annual event has been going on for so long, it is easy to forget the fair almost came to a demise when state funding became tight.
The continuation of the fair is due to the drive and determination of a group of local individuals who did not wish to see this U.P. tradition end. If you recall, the state of Michigan decided to get out of the fair business a couple of years ago by ending funding for both the Michigan State Fair and U.P. State Fair. A sour economy had taken its toll, and the state could no longer afford to keep the fairs running.
For community leaders here, that simply would not do. They organized, and convinced the state to turn over the U.P. State Fair to local interests, and operate it under the U.P. State Fair Board. Through months of work and determination, this became a reality last year when Gov. Jennifer Granholm passed over the "keys" to the fairgrounds during a ceremony at the 2009 fair.
Over the past year, organizers have been working hard to make the 2010 U.P. State Fair better than ever. Judging from the lineup of acts and attractions for this year's fair, it seems as if they have accomplished their mission. This year's fair promises not to skip a beat.
Everyone who has worked so hard to preserve the tradition of the U.P. State Fair deserves our thanks.
You can show your thanks by attending and supporting this year's fair. You'll not only be supporting the local area, but will have loads of fun doing it.
This year, the gates of the downstate Michigan State Fair will not open. For the U.P. State Fair in Escanaba, it will be business as usual. It is Michigan's only state fair. The reason is a group of dedicated people who refused to let the U.P. State Fair die.