County to celebrate 127th fair


STANDISH — The Arenac County Fair will return to flood the fairgrounds with laughter and community spirit for its 127th year.

“My personal thing is community,” fair board President Kimberly Karpinski said. “I want the community to come together and see their fairgrounds and support their fairgrounds. There is 127 years of history and I want people to come see the fairgrounds, because we don’t know what the future holds.”

While the fair is officially slated for July 31 through Aug. 4, the events kick off with the year’s second mud bog July 29 at noon.

“We usually do three a year,” Karpinski said. “One in the spring, one during the fair and one in the fall. We had interest in a demolition derby on Friday, so we scheduled the mud bog the Sunday before the fair.”

In June, more than two dozen wheeled vehicles competed for the trophies in a variety of classes from lawn mowers and bone stock trucks to heavily modified trucks and agricultural equipment.

The mud bogs are a family-friendly event in which it’s common to have family members competing against each other for bragging rights.

“It isn’t something that people come and sit in the grandstands for,” Karpinski said. “There are some that come and watch but for the most part your participants are your spectators.”

Kicking off fair week July 31 is a blood drive hosted by Michigan Blood from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the fair board offering a little encouragement in hopes of increasing participation.

“Anyone who donates blood will get a free daily pass,” Karpinski said. “The first 18 will go into a drawing for a weekly pass with a grandstand pass for an event of their choosing.”

Also on Tuesday will be selection and crowning of the junior and senior fair queens. Karpinski said this year the fair will give the senior queen a $300 scholarship.

The action will continue Wednesday with Senior Day and the “Shades of a King” Elvis impersonator show at 1 and 5 p.m., and the grandstand events kick off with a tractor and truck pull featuring the Thumb Tractor Pulling Association at 6 p.m.

Agriculture is the focus of Thursday, with the 4-H and FFA livestock sale, featuring beef, dairy, swine, poultry and rabbits being sold to the highest bidders.

“The kids raise the animals and the animals go to auction, and the kids get 100 percent of the proceeds,” Karpinski said. “Last year the kids sold more than $70,000 in livestock and it went right back into their pockets. The kids use it for college, school expenses, or back into their next project.”

The hot tickets on Friday are the fresh chicken dinners, the demolition derby in the grandstands and Steve Armstrong and the 25 Cent Beer Band in the pavilion.

Karpinski said the derby and concert will be occurring simultaneously for a portion of the night because the derby should be done around 10 p.m. and the band is scheduled to play until midnight.

Wrapping up the week’s events on Saturday is the mud volleyball, a firefighter obstacle course, a magician show, children’s tractor pull and the Arenac County Sheriff’s Office bicycle drawing.

Kids ride free from 1-3 p.m. Saturday thanks to a few donations from local businesses, and the fair is providing a free hot dog lunch to the first 100 kids.

In the evening, the fair will host its finale in the grandstands with the bump and run, while a live concert is performed in the pavilion by the Point Blank Band.

Gates throughout the week open at noon. Entry to the Sunday mud bogs is $5 for adults and free for kids 5 and younger. Entry for the fair is $2 for adults and $1 for kids.

For more information, follow the Arenac County Fair on Facebook or email


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