Plenty to free entertainment at fair

ESCANABA — The U.P. State Fair opens its gates Monday, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m. with reduced prices. Reduced admissions are just $5 for adults (13 and up), $3 for youth (6 to 12), children 5 and under are admitted free. The U.P. State Fair runs from Monday, Aug. 12, to Sunday, Aug. 18. Regular adult admission is $8 and $5 for youth, with weekly tickets and wristbands options available as well.

Free fair fun for the whole family abounds everywhere. Old favorites include the Pocket Park run by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources where you can try fishing, target shooting with bow and arrows and pellet guns, or a number of other activities. Whispering Pines Animal Kingdom conducts a series of educational opportunities with a wide variety of animals from around the world. Each year mARTinez Studio Sand Sculpting crafts a new masterpiece related to the U.P. State Fair theme.

The Educational Pavilion, sponsored by GreenStone Farm Credit Services and Farm Bureau, will bring to life many of the ways that agriculture and forestry affect our lives. The Miracle of Life Exhibition provides an opportunity for fair goers to watch the birth of a wide variety of farm animals such as, calves, lambs, piglets and the chance to witness chicks, duck and quail eggs hatch. Growing UP Foresters is a great hands-on exhibit in a forest ecosystem that shows the many ways trees and their products enhance our lives. This also includes an edge of forest interactive exhibit about the importance of farming and agriculture.

Included in the Educational Pavilion is the Bay College Computer Aided Design display of their Guinness Book of World Record entries. The Big Big Stuff exhibit includes the world’s largest Yo-Yo, Golf Tee and Paddle Lock and Keys. Also in this area, Cheese Carver Sarah Kaufmann, will be creating a life-sized sculpture entirely out of cheese.

Sunday on the Meijer Entertainment Stage, Meijer Family Day will host fun activities, contests, and giveaways. This year’s contests include hula hoop contest, cup stacking contest, quarterback challenge, and skee ball, and a photo opportunity in the Meijer Big Red Chair.

MARVEL Super Heroes will be back on Saturday and Sunday. Fair goers can meet official Marvel super heroes Spider-Man and Captain America.

This year, there are two daily additions on the midway — High Flying Pages Thrill Show and Great Lakes Timber Show. The High Flying Pages have toured the United States and Europe. This impressive team has broken world records throughout their 25 plus years of entertainment. Their half hour show is packed with high energy and thrill. Nearby, in front of the grandstands, the Great Lakes Timber Show will be entertaining with their lumberjack events and loads of humor. Bruce Belanger, an Escanaba native, began log rolling when he was 17 years old and has performed for over 20 years.

On Saturday, there is another new attraction, Superior Pipes and Drums. They are the Upper Peninsula’s first-ever bagpipe band, created to promote Celtic arts and traditions. Superior Pipes and Drums focuses on three areas: Scottish Piping, Drumming, and Highland Dancing.

While at the fair, visit the Steam and Gas Antique Village. The village includes many small old-time shops, historic equipment displays, an operating saw mill and museum. It is like taking a step back in time. This is also where you will find the Woodworks Chainsaw Carving by Jon and Marie, who produce unique works of art with the chainsaw.

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