State Fair expected to be even better this year

The Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair, running Aug. 28 through Sept. 1, is expected to be bigger and better this year.

“We are trying to grow on the foundation of the past several years in a measured way,” said Blair Bowman, proprietor of the Suburban Collection Showplace and Michigan State Fair, LLC. “The fair will be bigger and better because of the success of last year and the response we have received from those participating and attending.

“Ultimately, this is a celebration of the great things Michigan has to offer,” he added, “and we are honored to lead that celebration.”

In 2013, the state fair saw more than 80,000 attendees at The Showplace. This was double the turnout from the previous year, when the event was called the Great Lakes State Fair.

A press conference was held Tuesday at the venue to announce new elements and expanded attractions.

There will be a 25-percent increase in the size of the carnival, with several new rides, as well as the footprint expansion of the fair to include 20 additional acres. The Shrine Circus will now have two tents and more shows throughout the weekend.

There will also be a 30-percent increase in both the Urban Agriculture and 4-H Gold Ribbon College Scholarship programs, which will include all the proceeds from Guernsey Dairy’s endless chocolate milk attraction. More livestock exhibitors will be on hand as well.

The Kroger Co. of Michigan is participating as a new presenting sponsor of the Michigan-Made Pavilion at the Fair, which offers exhibits, sampling and vending opportunities for an array of food, beverages and other products manufactured in the state.

In addition, a new talent competition called Super Star Michigan Talent Contest will be introduced this year with a cash prize, mentoring opportunities and a recording opportunity with one of Detroit’s most well-known producers going to the winner.

Because of demand, the pricing structure at the fair will also be different, with more individual options available.

These are just a few of the changes to come. To help guide the growth, fair organizers have brought on a new executive director, Stephen Masters. He joins the fair from his recent positions as executive director of the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau in Escanaba and management team member of the Upper Peninsula State Fair.

“It’s exciting to be part of this,” said Masters, who brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role, according to Bowman.

To learn more about the fair, go to http://michiganstatefairllc.com.

As read on: http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20140617/NEWS13/306170031/State-Fair-expected-even-better-year

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