Fair has special bond to Escanaba

It’s that time of year again. Summer is starting to wind down, but not before the U.P. State Fair takes center stage.

Like other years, the 2013 U.P. State Fair is offering a wide variety of attractions that should peak the interest of just about anyone. Grandstand acts feature bands, racing, wrestling and more. Midway attractions boast animals, chainsaw carving and even a circus.

There are many new attractions, along with some old favorites like the Growing UP Foresters exhibit, Miracle of Life Birthing Pavilion, and the Steam and Gas Engine Village.

The thrill rides, exhibits, and that delicious fair food are all back, too.

The U.P. State Fair has been around a long time – it will be marking its 86th anniversary this year. Even though the event is called the U.P. State Fair, it is part of the fabric of Escanaba. It is one of the things that defines the city and Delta County. It is the site of what is now Michigan’s only state fair.

During Fair Week, we should all take a moment to remember just how close the U.P. State Fair came to not existing at all. This year marks the fourth year that the U.P. State Fair has not been operated by the State of Michigan. If you recall, the state wanted to get out of the fair business as part of its cost saving measures. The state quit funding both the Michigan State Fair and Upper Peninsula State Fair.

The downstate Michigan State Fair has since disappeared.

When faced with the U.P. State Fair ending, local residents took up the cause and continued the operation of the U.P. State Fair. Today, it is Michigan’s only state fair because of their continued hard work.

You can support their efforts my attending this year’s fair. While you are there reflect on how lucky we are to have this event in our backyard and the people who make it possible. And, of course, have fun.