Six Things to See at the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

The Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair is happening next weekend, August 30 – September 2 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Today, Blair Bowman, proprietor of the venue, fills us in on what makes this event one you don’t want to miss.

There is a powerful groundswell of strong “can-do” attitude that has been growing across Michigan these past few years, as a community we are being compelled to re-think many old ideas about the way our missions are accomplished. We believe that the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair is a prime example of this paradigm shift. The original Michigan State Fair was one of the state’s most venerable traditions and public sector events, since 1905—but in recent years it had struggled financially and was eventually discontinued.

At nearly the exact same time, however, a new grass-roots movement toward–and interest in–the great natural resources, agriculture, cottage industry food and beverages, farm-to-table produce and similar endeavors has been dawning across the state. As many old career paths have shifted or ended, waves of new businesses are being born here. The new Michigan State Fair is now being produced as a private sector event at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, with title sponsor Fifth Third Bank, with no state funding involved. The Fair’s aim is to celebrate and encourage the fresh new direction of the Michigan Agriculture Industry, while also maintaining the beloved traditions of our grand old State Fair.

Here are six things you don’t want to miss:

  • Live entertainment at the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair features talented Michigan sons Marshall Crenshaw, George Bedard and Stewart Francke, as well as a full schedule of entertainers hailing from all across the state.
  • The Shrine Circus at the State Fair, presented by Bright House Networks, features the most famous circus family in the world, the Flying Wallendas!
  • The 2013 Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair will feature a farmers’ market offering locally grown produce for the first time.
  • The State Fair Beer Garden will be pouring Griffin Claw of Birmingham, Vander Mill Cider of Spring Lake, Kuhnhenn Brewing Company and Dragon Mead from Warren and North Peak Brewing Company of Traverse City, courtesy of Powers Distributing.
  • The 2013 Fair will offer more carnival rides in the newly expanded Arnold Amusements Midway, presented by Wal-Mart.
  • One of the most popular, longtime attractions of the Michigan State Fair has been the Butter Cow, a feat of dairy sculpture like no other! The 2013 Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair is very pleased to welcome the return of the Butter Cow, created by Mr. Tom Paul Fitzgerald, of Almont, retired instructor of art sculpting from Wayne State University. Mr. Fitzgerald was the sculptor of the Butter Cow for 18 previous years at the Michigan State Fair.

The Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair has also announced that in collaboration with the Detroit Shriners and the Metropolitan Detroit Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Fair will award $10, 000 in educational scholarship funds to deserving youth in cities across the state. The Urban Youth Agriculture Scholarship Program is aimed at increasing involvement and awareness of youth agriculture programs, and to promote farming, agriculture, and livestock management within the great state of Michigan. Details of all the Fair scholarship programs and applications are available on the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair website.

Read more about the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair on michigan.org and let us know if you’ll be there!

Blair Bowman is the proprietor of the Suburban Collection Showplace, Diamond Conference Center and brand new Hyatt Place Hotel on Grand River Avenue in Novi, Michigan.