According to "The Century Book 1863-1963," a history of Escanaba, the U.P. State Fair was established by the Michigan legislature to serve the agricultural, educational, and commercial interests of the region. It was first held in 1927 after years of local fairs in Escanaba which date back to 1878. The attractive exhibition building at the fairgrounds is the backdrop for this photo believed to have been taken around 1930. Through the years, it was filled with displays on the main floor and the surrounding balcony. The building was replaced in 1974 by the modern Ruth Butler Building.
Tables in the Exhibition Building at the Fair were laden with fresh produce. In the background are hand-made garments hanging on the wall as exhibits.
A crowd of Fair goers pauses to listen as a band performs.
From the looks of it, the Ferris wheel in the photo at left may have been the only carnival ride available in the early days of the Fair. Because of the overhanging awnings, it’s not possible to tell what was offered inside the line of booths lining the midway.