The Michigan State Fair in Detroit was canceled two years ago due to budget cuts. This year there's a new fair, with a new name and location. It's privately owned and operated.
The Great Lakes State Fair kicked off in Novi today. Oakland County Commissioner Kathy Crawford was at a preview event last night.
“The old state fair the grounds and everything were familiar to me, that’s what I grew up with, so this is new, but at least it’s here, at least we have a semblance of the state fair. And it’s just young, you know, I know it’s going to grow. And we're very excited to welcome everyone to Novi,” she said.
The fair is located at the Suburban Collection Showplace, in Novi. It has all the essentials - livestock and agriculture exhibits, a midway with rides, games and food, and daily circus performances.
Visitors say it’s pretty good, so far.
"My favorite thing about the state fair is the circus,” said 12-year-old Kera Stoehr. "Because, I want to be an acrobat when I get older."
Some people say what they miss about the Michigan State Fair are the butter cows, the old barn and the big stove.
"The only thing that I think is missing is the sculptures of the butter cows, but so far we're liking it a lot," said Patty Czajka.
Terri Davis says she can't wait to take her 12-year old son, because it's a tradition she loves.
“And we just passed the horse stables, and my friend is like, ‘this is the state fair.’ It has the same smells, and you see the dirt. It’s kind of exciting. It brings back good memories because we were sad when the state fair ended in Detroit, we were really sad," said Davis.
But she’s pumped about the contests.
"There’s a pie eating contest, there’s a watermelon seed spitting contest…there is an ice cream eating contest…so I’m torn. They’re all on different days," she said.
The fair is open through Labor Day.