Michigan State Fair

The Michigan State Fair is an annual event originally held by the state of Michigan in Detroit and currently operated by the private entity Michigan State Fair LLC in the Suburban Collection Showplace in the Metro Detroit suburb of Novi.


The first official Michigan State Fair was held in 1849 in Detroit, Michigan. The first state fair was October 1, 1839 and was in Ann Arbor. It moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1849.[1] The state incorrectly claimed this to be the oldest state fair in the United States,[2] but the first such fair was actually held September 29–30, 1841 in Syracuse, New York.[3] Subsequent fairs were held in other cities until it received its permanent home in 1905 at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit.

In 1904, Joseph L. Hudson, together with three of his associates, decided to give the State Fair its permanent home. They formed the State Fair Land Company, which acquired 135 acres (0.55 km2) between 7½ and 8 Mile Roads, east of Woodward Avenue. Because Hudson had no interest in running the fair, he sold the land to the Michigan State Agricultural Society for one dollar on April 18, 1905. The Agricultural Society accepted the land then purchased an additional 32 acres (130,000 m2), extending the fairgrounds to 167 acres (0.68 km2). Throughout the following years, additional land was purchased and sold. The present size of the fairgrounds is 164 acres (0.66 km2).

Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum, also known as the Hockeytown State Fair Coliseum, is a 5,600-seat multi-purpose arena located on the fairgrounds. Two NASCAR races were held at a one-mile track at the fairgrounds. Tommy Thompson won the 1951 event and Tim Flock won in 1952.[4]

On October 30, 2009, Governor Jennifer Granholm vetoed legislation to provide funding to the Michigan State Fair.[5][6] Attendance peaked at 1.2 million in 1966. In 2009 the fair attracted 217,000 visitors.[7] The state fair was not held in the following two years.[8]

On April 9, 2012, Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 515 and House Bill 4803, which would authorize the transfer of the fairgrounds land to the Land Bank Fast Track Authority, which would oversee the land for future development, including plans for a station for the proposed commuter rail service.[9][10]

In 2011 Great Lakes Agricultural Fair, a 501 C (3) organization, was created. The agricultural industry is Michigan's second leading economic industry.

The Great Lakes State Fair took place August 31 through September 3, 2012, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in the Detroit suburb of Novi.[11][12]

In 2013, Fifth Third Bank became the name sponsor so the event became the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair, again held in Novi at the Suburban Collection Showplace. The private entity organizing the fair became Michigan State Fair LLC.[13]

See also


  1. http://blogs.detroitnews.com/history/1997/08/31/the-michigan-state-fair/
  2. "Askville". Archived from the original on 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2015-09-09.
  3. "New York State Fair :: The Encyclopedia of New York State :: Syracuse University Press". Syracuseuniversitypress.syr.edu. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  4. "Michigan State Fairgrounds NASCAR results". Racing-reference. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  5. Bell, Dawson (October 30, 2009). "Granholm cuts State Fair from budget". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  6. Bell, Dawson (October 30, 2009). "It's official: State Fair a goner". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  7. The Future of the Michigan State Fair Archived 2009-09-13 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Michiganians struggle with loss of state fair". WXYZ News. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  9. Oosting, Jonathan (April 9, 2012). "Snyder: Former state fairgrounds in Detroit would be 'natural location' for commuter rail station". Mlive.com. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  10. Oosting, Jonathan (April 9, 2012). "Snyder to sign bills fast tracking sale of Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit". Mlive.com. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  11. "Great Lakes State Fair announcement today". WXYZ News. May 30, 2012. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  12. "Great Lakes State Fair Replacing 'Michigan State Fair' in 2012". Metroparent.com. 2012-06-01. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  13. "State Fair: 20 more acres of fun for 2014". Birmingham Observer and Eccentric. August 24, 2014. Retrieved 2015-08-08.

Further reading

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