Acrobats and show founders Crina and Martin Alvarez perform during an Aquatic Acrobatic Show.

Acrobats and show founders Crina and Martin Alvarez perform during an Aquatic Acrobatic Show.

Photo provided by Martin Alvarez

Michigan State Fair to feature Aquatic Acrobatic Show

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published August 27, 2023

NOVI — The Michigan State Fair will return Aug. 31-Sept. 4 to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

This year, the fair is adding aquatic acrobatics to its long list of entertainment. Martin Alvarez and his wife, Crina, of North Port, Florida, former members of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, will bring the Aquatic Acrobatic Show to the fair.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind show. It really is. It has state-of-the-art sound and lighting, and it is just a beautiful show to look at and to see and very entertaining,” said Alvarez. “It’s  my creation. I created it. That’s why I know it’s the only one.”

The 30-minute show features a 30-foot ring of water that surrounds a stage, making it appear as though it were an island. Aerialists will fly over the stage, and the acrobatics will also be performed in and out of the water. The show will feature four acrobats and a standup Jet Ski “cyclone” act. The act features performers dressed as mermaids performing acrobatic stunts.

“It’s perfect for the whole family because we have the acrobatic thrills, we have the Jet Skis. We interact; we have this part where I do comedy, and I interact with the kids. They’ll be part of the show — the kids. We have the mermaids. That’s every little girl’s dream, to be the mermaids. We have the Jet Skis for the adults. It’s for the whole family,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez said he is the fifth generation in a family of acrobats and is the one who comes up with “crazy ideas.” He said his wife and kids thought he was nuts when he sat them down and told them that they were going to do this show.

“Everybody thought I had flew over the cuckoo’s nest,” he said.

The show is now in its fifth season of touring. This will be the first time Alvarez has come to Michigan.

According to a press release, “2023 is the year of the pumpkin” at the fair, as it will debut the Giant Pumpkin Contest. The contest, which was previously not open to the public to view, will be held in the main arena at 6 p.m. Aug. 31. The pumpkins will be weighed publicly to determine who has the largest and heaviest pumpkin. The winner will take home a prize and possibly set a record. According to the press release, in 2022 a record was set at the fair for the nation’s longest gourd. The gourd came in at 154 inches.

A new interactive exhibit called “My MI Farmland” is expected to bring more Michigan agriculture to the fair. The exhibit will feature activities focused on educating consumers about farming and agriculture in the state. “My MI Farmland” will include milking cows, live baby animals, a trivia wheel, a tractor simulator and much more.

“Our goal is to help people connect with where their food and fiber comes from,” the release states. “We will have farmer volunteers to answer questions and help attendees navigate this fun space.”

In an effort to ensure guests can more easily get around the exhibits, the main aisles have been widened to 30 feet.

The fair will also bring back many well-known attractions, such as live music, a beer tent and the Shrine Circus.

At 8 a.m. Sept. 2, the Moovin’ Thru the Midway 5K, benefiting Military Families United, will be returning to the fair. Runners will journey throughout the fairgrounds and finish at the beer tent.

Tickets to the fair cost $10 without rides and the circus or $42 for “ultimate” admission, which includes fair entry, and unlimited carnival rides and circus performances. Seniors ages 62 and older entering the fair between 10 a.m. and noon Aug. 31 can get fair-only admission at no cost. For more information on the fair or to register for the race, visit