State fair opens for Labor Day weekend

By: Sherri Kolade | C&G Newspapers | Published August 21, 2013

 A boy milks a cardboard cow during the 2012 Novi state fair.

A boy milks a cardboard cow during the 2012 Novi state fair.

Photo by D. Kincheloe

NOVI — Carnival rides, circus shows, indoor exhibits and a flurry of sweet and salty fair foods await families at the Fifth-Third Bank Michigan State Fair Aug. 30-Sept. 2 at the roughly 320,000-square-foot Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River.

“We’re very excited, hoping a lot of families come out and enjoy what we have to offer and help us bring (the fair) to its days of glory,” Mike Watts, executive director of the Fifth-Third Bank Michigan State Fair, said recently. “Many people are excited about having a state fair of this magnitude again, with a new focus into the 21st century.”

The fair, produced by the Michigan State Fair LLC, a private entity, and presented with title sponsor Fifth-Third Bank, features livestock shows 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 30 and 31, and Sept. 1; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 2. The fair kicks off at 10 a.m. Aug. 30.

Midway carnival events are scheduled 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Aug. 30-Sept. 1, and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 2.

Crazy Dawn Circus Entertainment is scheduled to perform daily at noon, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; there is no 7:30 p.m. performance on Labor Day.

Another fair feature is the agriculture and indoor vendor booths 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 30-Sept. 1, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 2.

More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the fair, which Watts said will showcase agriculture and Michigan-based products and companies. 

“Michigan always had a long history of being (an) agricultural breadbasket,” he said. “A lot of important produce — cherries, blueberries — are staples in the American diet.”

He said the state fair focuses on agricultural interests.

“We have exhibits and demonstration of all kinds of things involved in the agricultural business,” he said.

County Commissioner Kathy Crawford, R-Novi, said everyone is looking forward to the fair. 

“We’re excited about the butter cow and milking cow, and a lot of animals,” she told C & G Newspapers recently. “So many people in Michigan remember the Michigan State Fair. It is a historical thing, and this year it is bigger and better.”

The original Michigan State Fair debuted in Detroit in 1849, according to It was one of the first statewide fair events to take place in the United States. It was moved to the Michigan State Fairgrounds on Woodward Avenue in 1905, and it stayed there until 2009, when it was shuttered due to budget issues.

Advance discount tickets are available online for $25; gate ticket prices are $30; and adults 62 years old and older can enter for free Aug. 30.

For more information, go to or call (248) 348-6942.