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Column: See you at the fair

ESCANABA — The UP State Fair Authority’s executive committee recently met to discuss plans with resounding support and optimism for a great and successful fair this August.

While we have hope for real freedom from all fear of the disease by then, we are also actively planning strategies to minimize risk and maximize enjoyment at the fair. UPSF management is working aggressively to put in place safe practices for the grounds, buildings, events, and rides.

Our determination comes from our desire and commitment to our exhibitors and U.P. community. Many exhibitors began working on their projects and displays months ago. Meanwhile, after the loss of the school year and many other spring and early summer events, we are confident the U.P. will be looking for an opportunity to come together, celebrate, and fellowship together.

The fair is blessed to have a very large grounds so expect to see many of the attractions spread out more, including the seating in the grandstands and on the track to help keep social distancing easy outside. Indoor facilities will have limits on people inside at once but with so much to see and enjoy it should not be too difficult to still see everything!

Most of all, this crisis has stressed the fabric of our community by keeping us apart. The fair is everything opposite: it brings people of all ages, work, education, experience together. Grandparents help little ones with cows. Professional and amateurs compete together in arts and crafts. College students lead their clubs. Businesses sell their products while they purchase a farm kid’s lamb. City kids get a pig for a project and farmers share the realities of modern farming with consumers. We are so proud to keep this tradition alive and are anxious to make it safe and enjoyable for everyone later this summer. See you at the fair!

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Ed McBroom is a member of the U.P. State Fair Authority, Livestock Advisory Committee, dairy exhibitor and state senator.

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