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Upper Peninsula State Fair

Experience and celebrate the unique culture and heritage of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Experience and celebrate the unique culture and heritage of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at the 2013 Upper Peninsula State Fair.

DSC_9795Humble Beginnings
In April of 1927, the city of Escanaba was designated as the location for the Upper Peninsula State Fair by then Michigan Governor Fred Green. That same year, Governor Green signed Act 89 which stated “An annual state fair at the City of Escanaba, which shall have for its main purpose the exploiting, and encouragement of improved methods in agriculture and industrial pursuits I hereby authorize.”  The passage of Act 89 allocated the necessary funds needed for the construction of exhibit buildings, livestock shelters, grandstand and racetrack.

Opening days of the first U.P. State Fair was September 17, 1928. The late fall date was selected so that blue-ribbon winners from the surrounding county fairs could enter at the state level. The week’s activities included: horse racing, a cow-calling contest, horseshoe pitching, carnival rides, circus and vaudeville acts.

 

A Season Of Change DSC_9735
From its inception in the April of 1927, the Upper Peninsula State Fair remained a state funded entity for nearly 82 years. However in early 2009, the fair faced “a season of change” in the form of a $1.6 million state budget deficit. The state’s financial woes would force Governor Jennifer Granholm to axe the subsidy which provided funding for both the Michigan State Fair (Detroit) and the Upper Peninsula State Fair. By the time the official announcement was made by the state, a plan was already in the works to continue the U.P. State Fair as a private venture.

Through an agreement entered into under Michigan’s Urban Cooperative Act, the fifteen counties in the Upper Peninsula along with the Hannahville Indian Tribe (Island Resort & Casino) created a legal entity known as the “Upper Peninsula State Fair Authority. In a sentiment that echoes the original wording of Act 89, the U.P. State Fair Authority has defined its mission as follows: “to support the U.P. State Fair in its mission to provide a venue for displaying, encouraging, and supporting agricultural and industrial pursuits in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and its related area in the Upper Midwest”.

It’s All Fair…
The 2013 Upper Peninsula State Fair marks the fourth year of operating independent of state funding and its emergence as “Michigan’s Only State Fair”. Currently in full-swing, the 2013 fair runs through Sunday, August 18th and provides something for everyone!

  • Rides & Games DSC_9748

The Skerbeck Brothers Carnival is back with their family-friendly midway entertainment. Small children will enjoy rides like the “Mighty Mac”, “Orient Express”, and “Tot Town” while the thrill-seekers get their adrenaline flowing on rides like “Twin Flip”, “Mega Shot”, and “Vertigo”. Not into rides? Be sure to check out the menagerie of carnival games located throughout the midway! It’s a win-win situation!

  • Food

Indulge your inner “foodie” with a midway treat! Culinary connoisseurs will find the standard staples such as corn dogs, French fries, burgers and pizza while being able to sample such selections as elephant ears, funnel cakes, and Croatian Chicken, which only come around once a year!

  • Agricultural & Animal ExhibitsDSC_9760

Holding true to its roots, the Upper Peninsula State Fair houses a wide range of agricultural and animal exhibits designed to exploit and encourage improved methods in agriculture and industrial pursuits. From livestock to photography… you name it they have it! Just a warning though….there is a lot to see and you may not be able to view everything in one day so be prepared and plan ahead!

  • Grandstand & Midway Entertainment

From the garden and lawn tractor pulls to the top-ten hits of such bands like Great White, Jackyl and the Nitty Gritty Dirtband, the 2013 Grandstand series will not disappoint!  As always, all grandstand shows are included in the price of gate admission! The grandstand isn’t the only place to find top-notch entertainment! The 2013 midway entertainment is sure to delight audiences both young and old with a myriad of complimentary shows and demonstrations. For a complete listing of grandstand and midway entertainment, please visit the U.P. State Fair Website!

For images of the 2013 Upper Peninsula State Fair, please visit our Pinterest Page!

DSC_9731

Visit the Island at the 2013 State Fair!

As presenting sponsors of the 2013 Upper Peninsula State Fair, the Island Resort & Casino invites you to experience all that “Michigan’s Only State Fair” has to offer!  During your visit, be sure to stop by our tent where you can present your Island Club Card for a chance to win $250! In addition, learn to play Let-It-Ride and receive a card to visit a kiosk at the Casino for a chance to win Special Prizes or Discounts. We’ll see you at the fair!

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