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Posted: 07/31/13

'Fastest growing fair in
state' kicks off Aug. 6

by MARIANNE WEISS
Observer Special Writer

      The Lapeer County Agricultural Society opens the 2013 Eastern Michigan State Fair Tuesday, Aug. 6, and it will run through Saturday, Aug. 10, in Imlay City. 
       Since 1883, the fair has been a real crowd-pleaser with livestock, auctions, pie-eating contests, vendors and live music. Starting on Tuesday, the Bulls and Broncos Rodeo will be held. Wednesday features the Figure 8 race and then the Grandstand stage will rock with the Spin Doctors at 8 p.m.
       Thursday at 11 a.m., 4-H Livestock Auctions will show animal lovers a variety of breeds and then the Superman Motocross show is at 7 p.m.
       On Friday at 7 p.m., the Autocross Bump-N'-Run will kick things into high gear and Saturday the Demolition Derby is always a smash at 7 p.m.
       Ian Kempf is the general manager of the fair.
       "The fair's come a long way," said Kempf, who has been running the fair for 16 years. "We have been called the fastest growing fair in the state and we attribute that to basically having the cleanest and safest fair out of anyone out there."
       The fair has a large crew to keep the grounds clean throughout the week.
       "We get a lot of positive comments every year about this," Kempf said. "The one thing that sets us apart is the real family value that our fair offers."
       All the rides, shows and exhibits are included for one low admission price.
       Local 4-H groups are a big part of the hometown fair.
       "The 4-H members do all sorts of projects during the fair, in one building," said Brenda Patrick, secretary at the Lapeer County MSU Extension.
       All sorts of projects and topics will be covered including crafts, cooking, photography, fine arts, floriculture, home economics, conservation, engineering, science, safety, woodworking and clover bud projects.
       "It's a lot about agriculture, but so much more," Patrick said.
       Tammy Hyatt is the Lapeer County Educational and Technology Center agriscience instructor and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) adviser.
       "Kids are learning about jobs in agriculture and 25 percent of all jobs in America are in this field," she said. "We have an exhibit with many live births at the Eastern Michigan State Fair and a petting farm where kids can hold the animals. The kids are involved this year with Project Raising Hope, a new program that benefits a local food pantry."
       "Also this year, our FFA members mentor disabled students and we will have a kick-off to that event at the fair," she added. "This is a new program of the Lapeer County Tech Center. It teaches these kids responsibility, record keeping, commitment and dedication in potential careers they may go into. Twenty-three of the animals raised at the school will be shown at the fair."
       The Eastern Michigan State Fair can be found in Imlay City on Van Dyke just north of I-69. Admission is $15 and includes all rides and shows. Wednesday before 2 p.m., tickets are only $10.
       For the events schedule and more information about the Eastern Michigan State Fair call (810) 724-4145 or visit www.easternmichiganstatefair.com


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