U.P. State Fair sees record crowds

The U.P. State Fair’s 2013 campaign came to a close Sunday night in Escanaba after a week-long run of record setting crowds.

Michigan’s lone State Fair saw a six percent spike at the gate with a preliminary estimate of more than 79,000 on hand for the festivities. That’s an increase of 19,000 spectators when compared to 2012’s attendance figure of 60,000. The Skerbeck Carnival rides and vendors experienced an even bigger surge with a ten percent jump in receipts.

“One of the great things about this year’s fair is that we had a lot of people providing input and giving us ideas on some of the events and activities that they’d like to see offered at the fair. We believe that we have hit just about every interest, and just about every age group,” explained Vickie Micheau, the Executive Director for the Delta County Chamber of Commerce.

Delta County’s Chamber of Commerce has hosted the event for the past four years after taking over operational duties from the state in 2009.

“During that first year, I don’t believe that anybody noticed that there was even any type of transition. The only thing that people noticed was that we were paying attention to all the things that were important to the people of the Upper Peninsula,” Micheau added. “We’re very proud, once again, of the members of this U.P. community who came together to make sure that this tradition continued. And we’re very proud of the fact that, in our 86th year, we can claim that we are still Michigan’s only State Fair.”

The Chamber of Commerce says when they first took over; they had a balance of $0 for the State Fair. After a successful 2013 campaign, the balance sheet is upwards of $1 million.