Today’s release of official U.P. State Fair numbers show that nearly 61,000 people paid to enter the gates at the fair; this represents an increase of 3,000 paid attendees. This number doesn’t include the vendors, sponsors, media, volunteers or employees that make this ‘city within a city’ hum with activity.
“Hard work and perfect weather paid off and we were able to produce a product that people want,” said Steve Masters, member of the UP State Fair Management Team. “We have received many positive comments about changes in the layout, and in the free and grandstand entertainments and look forward to continued increasing attendance. As always, we hope that Mother Nature will continue to support our efforts, as well.”
Support was the name of the game for the second run of the locally owned and operated U.P. State Fair, and it came from all areas. Organizers were pleased to see that attendees, vendors and sponsors all came back for 2011 and helped to continue the Fair’s traditions. Kathy Gunderman, Vendor Coordinator of the UP State Fair, shared after the wrap-up vendor meeting, “Most vendors are extremely happy. There is a general consensus that the outside entertainment is a good draw, and they like that it is spread throughout the fairgrounds so they all can benefit from it. Each year they can feel that we are making moves to better what we need to better for the Fair.”
Jim Gale, chair of the UP State Fair Authority, shared that some of this year’s profits will be set aside in a ‘rainy day fund’ to ensure that even if the fair has a bad weather week in the future, the organization will be able to continue and meet its financial obligations. “We want the Fair to continue enhancing our local way of life, and we never want to get to a point of worrying whether or not it can operate another year,” said Vickie Micheau, member of the UP State Fair Management Team. “This is just another positive step forward for the Authority, and we will continue to raise the bar into the future.”
Micheau added, “The importance of this facility staying viable is immeasurable to the community—this facility brings in year-round events, and the goal is for the Fairgrounds is to be self-sustaining from events and fair revenues. Local people feel a sense of pride and ownership in the facility, helping to drive revenue and attendance numbers. With measures such as the ‘Rainy Day Fund’, this goal is well within reach for years to come.”