Arenac County Fair to start July 24
STANDISH — The Arenac County Fair returns for its 2012 show July 24-28, when one of the biggest events in the county takes place at the Standish fairgrounds.
Now in its 66th year, according to Fair Board Secretary/Manager Melanie Sobieray, the fair will run from roughly 9 a.m. each morning until the beer tent closes in the evening: generally around 2 a.m., she said.
The fair has two new events scheduled to entertain audiences this year, Sobieray said: a horse pull scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, and a lawnmower pull on Saturday, July 28.
Other popular events, such as the Bump ‘n Grind, the 4-H livestock sale, mud volleyball, and animal judging return from previous years. In addition, Sobieray said Schmidt Amusements would be providing rides and games, such as the tilt-a-whirl, merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, and a bounce house.
The fair also has a few specialty days planned. Sobieray said Tuesday is a free admission day, with rides being $1 each. Wednesday will be Senior Citizen Day, which will have $1 admission for people 60 years old or more and can ride the rides for free with their grandchildren, and Saturday will be a kid’s day, where children can ride all day for $12, instead of the $15 cost on other days.
Sobieray said people with the fair office have been working on improvements to the fairgrounds, as well.
“We’ve been doing a lot of painting, and changing colors around,” Sobieray said. “There’s been some landscaping, with more flowers and mulch, and better scenery.”
The fair board also decided to close the rear entrance, accessible from Johnsfield Road, save for allowing vehicles from events to leave. Sobieray said the driveway to the fairgrounds’ main entrance has been widened, so it should be easier for more people to make their way through the gate.
Parking will remain the same, Sobieray said.
In addition, Economic Development Corporation President Curt Hillman said the fair would also feature a business fair highlighting businesses from Arenac County.
“It’s about what they do outside of the county, in the rest of Michigan, or the nation,” Hillman said.
He cited companies such as Globe Fire Sprinkler, which do business nationally, as an example.
Sobieray said the beer tent would also feature drinks from one such local business, the Au Gres-based Modern Craft Winery. Other vendors, ranging from roasted peanut sellers, the Arenac County Farm Bureau, and Dish Network, would also have booths at the fair, as would local politicians running for office. She said other people interested in getting a vendor table could still call the fair office at 989-846-4461.
Sobieray also said Saturday’s 4-H chicken barbeque dinner, scheduled for 4 p.m., is a highlight of this year’s fair. Dinners are $7 while supplies last. The food stand will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. generally Wednesday through Saturday.
The board is expecting around 8,000-10,000 people attending the fair in total, and Sobieray said if weather cooperates she would like to see more than 10,000 people show up.
“Hopefully we’ll have more people than last year,” she said.