PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan State Fair is returning — under a different name, and at a different location.
WWJ’s Beth Fisher reports that the “The Great Lakes Agricultural Fair” will be held Sept. 2-5, Labor Day weekend, inside and outside the Silverdome.
Among those glad to hear of the plan is the former fair’s Draft Horse Superintendent, Neil Kentner.
“From the demise of the old State Fair… it’s going to give us a whole new venue and a revitalization that we’re going to see people once again bringing their livestock out, providing those opportunities for the general public, both rural and urban, to realize that agriculture really is all about here in Michigan,” Kentner said.
The 80,300-seat Silverdome is in Pontiac, which until 2009 hosted the Arts, Beats & Eats festival in its downtown each Labor Day weekend. That festival moved last year to nearby Royal Oak.
Pontiac Mayor Leon Jankowski welcomes the new event.
“The real questions is not necessarily direct revenue to the city. It’s foot traffic — people who will see the city and come into the city again. And that’s what’s really important about this,” Jankowski said.
Attractions are expected to include agricultural competitions, live animals, musical performances, a midway and “Made in Michigan” displays.
Organizers say performances will include top R&B, country, classic rock acts. Details are expected to be announced later. Concert tickets will include fair admission. Adult tickets are listed at $8, tickets for children ages 2-12 are $4 and children under 2 are free. Parking is $10, and $20 family packs good for five admissions will be offered.
The Michigan State Fair, which opened in 1849, was the nation’s oldest and last took place in 2009. The state that year eliminated funding for the event and efforts to keep it going in 2010 failed. The new fair will be run by a nonprofit and won’t rely on state funding.
More information at http://www.greatlakesfair.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.