Did you know that Michigan has 2 state fairs? One is in Novi (near Detroit) and the other is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in August. It is one of the upper peninsula events that brings in crowds of people. One thing unique about the Upper Peninsula (UP) State Fair, it is not stated funded. It is governed by the Upper Peninsula State Fair Authority (made up of the 15 counties in Michigan’s U.P.). The UP State Fair is held in Escanaba and is located not to far from places to eat and stay, but make reservations in advance. The town is super busy during the Fair, it is a week long event with lots of activities and congested traffic.
Things to know about the UP State Fair in Upper Michigan
parking is free – depending on when you get there you may have to walk a bit.
cash is preferred – I don’t recall if we could use a credit card to pay to get into the fair. Be prepared with cash. A lot of smaller places (and flea market/crafters) will only accept cash. Cash is the theme of most of the U.P. honestly
getting in – there is a fee to get into the fair. You can pay for a day or get a week pass
arts & crafts – there are people who are selling beautiful items they have made
barns – be sure to head down to the barns to see the cows, horses, poultry & pigs and other critters
chainsaw carving – yes! you can find it and see it here
drinks – they have those delicious over the top drinks (lemonade and drinks make from pineapples!)
flea market – you will find a bit of a flea market as well with hidden treasures
food – there are elephant ears, hot dogs, nachos, cotton candy , cheese curds and the regular fair food
games – you will find games to try your luck at winning prizes
mobile zoo – there are animals that you can get up close to like goats, rabbits and sheep at the mobile zoo. We saw porcupine too, I would not recommend trying to touch them. (there are signs when not to touch)
park – the DNR puts together a pocket park where you can sit and rest. It is something you may notice on your way in (depending on where you enter). Be sure to check it out.
rides – you can find rides here, like the ferris wheel, tilt-o-world and pony rides
U.P. Steam & Gas Engine Museum (Agricultural Museum) – located at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. It was created to preserve the local heritage. You will find an eclectic collection antique equipment and artifacts. There is not a cost to see this, but donations are accepted.
You will find the UP State park at 2401 12th Avenue North in Escanaba Michigan. You can’t miss it, there is usually a line on the road to get in and at certain times of the day, police may be helping with the flow of traffic.
Keep in mind the Fair draws in lots people from all over. There is going to be a lot of traffic. You may have a hard time finding a place to stay if you don’t make reservations far enough time in advance. Wait times at restaurants may be longer, so have snacks.
What do you go to see when you go to a fair? Have you been to the UP State Fair?