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Local News / Entertainment

Wednesday, 26 August, 2009 1:18 AM

The Michigan State Fair begins on Aug. 28 with its biggest music line-up ever

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Michigan State Fair General Manager Robert Porter and public relations coordinator Carmen Carter address the media during a press conference on Aug. 18, 2009.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

(Quicktime Video)

DETROIT -- The Michigan State Fair is back! This may be the last year for the state fair after Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm decided to cut funding for the fairgrounds and dismantle the fair board after Sept. 30. Officials at this year's fair created a new slogan for 2009: "Do The Fair Thing!" Joe Nichols, Jake Owen, Chuck Wicks and Love & Theft are some of the country acts that will perform. For the classic rock fans, there is Mark Farmer and Billy Squier. Cavo, Red & Pop Evil are some of the active rock acts that will perform. There will also be gospel, jazz and motown music.

Other bands that will perform include The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, Rare Earth lead singer Peter Rivera, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, Survivor, Switch, Standing Room Only, Romeo Flynns and Hunter Brucks. The Colgate Country Showdown and County Fair Talent Showcase will take place on Thusday, Sept. 3.

"There's so many things going on -- agriculture is going to be a big thing again," said Robert Porter, general manager of the Michigan State Fair. "We'll have all sorts of different shows and competitions, as well as many types of animals. The Miracle of Life where you see a cow or a pig or a sheep giving birth. All the prized vegetables and so forth. We're standing in our urban gardening display. Urban gardening is agriculture of the future. We'll be donating the food. We haven't selected the organizations."

The state fair has chosen North American Midway, a new company to handle the midway rides. There will be a total of 60 rides at this year's state fair. Fair goers can expect to see a roller coaster, a white water log ride, twister ride, a tugboat water ride and a kite flyer ride, among many others.

The Budweiser Clydesdales will appear at the Michigan State Fair on Monday, August 31 and will remain at the fair through Labor Day. The Clydesdales first came to America in the mid 1800's. In order for horses to be considered as a Clydesdale, it must be at least three years old, stand approximately six feet tall and weigh an average of 2,000 pounds. All Clydesdales are bay in color with four white stockings, a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail.

The state fair is hosting a cooking competition daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All entries must be made at home and then delivered to the Community Arts Building, 30 minutes before the judging. Contests are affordable to enter at $2 per category or $12 for all categories. Winners can receive anywhere from $12 to $200 per category. The first place winner in the Pillsbury Pie Championship can compete nationally and win $2,000.

Organizers from the state fair showed off its new urban garden called the "Great Lakes Gardens." It was an idea by 32-year-old Ryan Rowinski, a graduate of Michigan State University's crop and soil science program. The entire garden was created for less than $1,000. It is located next to the poultry and rabbit building on the grounds on the state fairgrounds. Rowinski said the crops were planed seven weeks ago and have already yielded 300 pounds of food.

"There's a fair this year, it's bigger, better than ever," said Carmen Carter, public relations coordinator for the Michigan State Fair. "Once you pay your entrance fee to the fair, everything that's happening in the fair is free. All the concerts are free, the rodeo is free. There are nearly 400 things that are happening in the fair during this 11-day period. Stay at home and enjoy the Michigan State Fair, which is in your own backyard."

According to facts provided by the state fair, 85 percent of fair goers are repeat visitors. Sixty-five percent of fair goers live in Metro Detroit while the other 35 percent lives elsewhere. The average age of fair goers is between 13-18 and 36-45. The average household income of a fair goer is between $35,000 to $49,000. The average fair goer spends about $25 at the state fair.

The Michigan State Fair went on a 35-city tour that began on July 22 and ended on August 24. The goal was to encourage the citizens of Michigan, Ohio and Canada to attend the Michigan State Fair. Mayors and other city officials have welcomed the tour and held press conferences at their city halls. Some of the stops were made in Flint, Swartz Creek, Grand Blanc, Pontiac, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, just to name a few.

The Michigan State Fair passed out 1,000 free tickets on Wednesday, July 15 at 10 a.m.. One free ticket went to each person who stood in line. The goal was to encourage people to stay in Michigan and enjoy the state fair instead of taking a vacation and leaving the area.

"All we can do is run the best possible fair we can," the general manager of the state fair said. "There is a lot of history involved. I know people that came here on their first date and now bring their grandchildren here. So that's what we're here to do. At this point, it's up to the politicians in Lansing and the legislature to decide if they want to move ahead."

There are many historic sites on the fairgrounds including the World's Largest Stove that was built for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, the house that President Ulysses S. Grand lived in while stationed in Detroit and the statue of Seabiscuit, the racehorse that won the Michigan Governor's Handicap Race at the Fairgrounds in September of 1936.

The state fair runs from Friday, August 28 until Labor Day, September 7 from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day. It is located at the intersection of Woodward Ave. and Eight Mile Road in Detroit. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are free with admission to the fair. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (62 and over), $5 for children (3-12). Children under the age of two are admitted for free.

Click here to visit the official website of The Michigan State Fair.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Carmen Carter, Vice President of DMC Advertising, was hired to do public relations for the state fair.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

"There will be good live entertainment every night," Porter said.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Organizers from the Michigan State Fair held a press conference inside the Community Arts building on Aug. 18, 2009.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

"Obviously the economy has slowed things down for everybody," the general manager of the state fair said. " I think and some of the studies I've seen nationally have showed some of the fairs have picked up. People are holding back. They can't afford the vacation they wanted to take the kids on. They can take the kids here, four kids, $100 bucks and the kids are in and they can ride all day like a staycation."

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Marlita Blackman, President of Sales & Marketing for DMC Advertising, was hired to handle sponsorships for the 2009 Michigan State Fair.

 

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