Fairgoers fill the midway at last year’s Michigan State Fair in Novi. This year’s fair will include expanded food options.

Fairgoers fill the midway at last year’s Michigan State Fair in Novi. This year’s fair will include expanded food options.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Michigan State Fair to celebrate 10 years in Novi

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published August 24, 2022

 Two Rock N Roll K9’s arrive in a police car for their show at the Michigan State Fair in 2021. The Rock N Roll K9’s Performance Team will be back at the fair this year.

Two Rock N Roll K9’s arrive in a police car for their show at the Michigan State Fair in 2021. The Rock N Roll K9’s Performance Team will be back at the fair this year.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


NOVI — The Suburban Collection Showplace is gearing up for the annual Michigan State Fair, which will take place Sept. 1-5.   

This year’s fair will feature two new attractions: the Pork Chop Revue, a display of “some of the smartest swine in the country,” and the Cool Zoo, a wildlife experience that focuses on conservation, education and research. The zoo features exotic wildlife exhibits and live crab races.

The Pork Chop Revue has been around since 1956 and has entertained guests all over the country.  Owner Les Kimes, of Florida, said the revue was started by his father and has continued on for four generations, as his 6-year-old grandson is now performing in the show, as well.

“We adopt pigs like you would a puppy or a dog or a cat. We adopt them when they are little, like 2 weeks old, and we hand-raise them,” said Kimes. “They live out their lives with us. The pigs get big. My biggest pig is pushing upwards of 800 pounds, and these guys actually perform.”

He said this year he has added more animals, so it is Porkchop Revue and Friends. Kimes said that, along with pigs, the show will feature goats and a llama. He said the show includes a lot of tongue-in-cheek comedy.   

The revue has been featured in several movies and TV shows. Most recently, Kimes said his pigs made it to the quarterfinals on “America’s Got Talent” season 15.

“We’re really looking forward to (performing at the Michigan State Fair),” said Kimes. “Our motto has always been, ‘No matter what the gig, think pig.’ We’ve never done it there. Hopefully, it is going to draw some crowds in there. … It’s not just a kids show — it’s fun. We have a following in Kentucky. Maybe we’ll get that in Michigan.”

Both the Pork Chop Revue and the Cool Zoo will be performing multiple times a day for the duration of the Fair.

The fair also features a high-dive show, Rock N Roll K9’s, a community and cultural stage, a main entertainment stage, and the famous Shrine Circus, which will be held in a new tent that is bigger and air-conditioned.Circus showtimes and more information can be found at www.michiganstatefairllc.com/shrine-circus.

The midway has been extended and will include additional rides, attractions and food options. Riley Stechschulte — operations and volunteer coordinator for the fair — said that last year, the fair brought in 18 different food trucks, and this year, the fair will have 27. She said the food options will include more cultural selections, barbecue, turkey legs and tacos along with classic carnival foods such as funnel cakes and corn dogs.

“It’s a pretty wide selection,” she said.  “So we’ll have tons of food options.”

The Beer Tent will house the Friday Night Flights event where guests can enjoy samplings from local breweries starting at 4:30 p.m., with extra samples for the early $20 VIP admission and $15 for general admission starting at 5:30 p.m. To purchase tickets for the Friday Night Flights event, which includes fair admission, visit www.michiganstatefairllc.com/celebration-beer.

Live music on the Ascension Main Stage in the entertainment pavilion will be going on throughout the duration of the fair, featuring the State Fair Superstar competition along with a different local band every night.

The Moovin’ Thru the Midway 5K, benefiting Military Families United, will be held at 8 a.m. Sept. 3. Participants will go through the fairgrounds and finish at the beer tent. There is also a virtual participation option for those who wish to run the race at home or at a location of their choice. To register, visit www.michiganstatefairllc.com/5k.

It has been 10 years since the Michigan State Fair was resurrected at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

“It was kind of like a community effort to bring the fair back,” said  Stechschulte. “There were people involved with the original fair, and then there were people who had the space to make it happen at the Showplace. So it was a group effort.”

The fair has had success in the city with 287,000 people attending in 2021. Stechschulte said they are expecting to see around the same number of guests this year. As a result of the high attendance, which was 62% higher than in 2019, the fair has eliminated parking fees and enhanced its parking availability. The enhanced parking, which is closer to the building, is available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, shuttle services will be available for those who have to park in the lots that are farther away. In honor of the 10th anniversary, the first 100 families to enter the fair each day will receive a limited-edition tote bag.

This year, all minors will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian after 6 p.m. to enter the fair. According to a press release, the event organizers have enacted this policy “to maintain a friendly, family-oriented and safe environment for all fairgoers.”

“The Michigan State Fair LLC is devoted to the ongoing development and support of agriculture, business entrepreneurship and family entertainment, while preserving the legacy and beloved traditions of the original State Fair,” fair officials stated in a press release. “This privately produced event carries forward all of the positive aspects of past Fairs, including substantial positive economic impact, with major charitable and community benefits, all with no burden to the taxpayer.”

The fair will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 1-2; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 3-4; and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 5. Interior livestock halls will close at 5 p.m. The interior vendor hall will close at 7 p.m.

For more information on tickets and hours, visit www.michiganstatefairllc.com/tickets.