Three years and counting.
It has been three years since members of the community stepped up to make sure the U.P. State Fair did not become a thing of the past. If you recall, that was when the state of Michigan decided it wanted to get out of the fair business as part of a cure for its budget woes. The U.P. State Fair and downstate Michigan State Fair went on the chopping block.
Community members here had the wisdom to see the value the fair has to the local area and its boost to the economy. They made a concerted effort to take over the event from the state so that it would continue.
The fruits of that effort are in their third year. In comparison, private interests are just now beginning efforts to reestablish the downstate Michigan State Fair. The efforts of those involved in refusing to let the U.P. State fair perish should make everyone in the U.P. proud.
The effort, however, is far from over. In order for the U.P. State Fair to continue for future generations, it needs the support of all of us. Attendance makes or breaks a fair. The U.P State Fair is no exception.
This year's fair has much to offer - especially for those people who want to stretch their entertainment dollar. As in past years, admission cost includes free access to the fair's grandstand entertainment. That includes country acts Eli Young Band on Wednesday and husband-wife duo Thompson Square on Thursday. Rock band Tesla takes the stage Friday. Other grandstand entertainment includes racing, a demolition derby, garden tractor pulls and an extreme motorcycle show.
There's plenty of free entertainment throughout the fair. There's the Miracle of Life exhibit, Whispering Pine Animal Kingdom, chainsaw carving, entertainment from Flippin Out and Cirque Amongus, Tiny Tot Land, and other attractions to numerous to mention.
By attending the fair, residents support an institution that is responsible for bringing a much needed economic boost to the area each August. People come here to attend the fair. They spend money while they are here. Many people involved with the fair stay in the area through Fair Week. They spend money here. That helps the local economy - and that helps us all.
Attend the U.P. State Fair and help support the place we call home - it's also a whole lot of fun.