The Marquette County Fair kicked off Thursday morning at the County Fairgrounds in Sands Township. The fair has a history that dates back to the early 1900s and has grown every year since.
It's the Marquette County Fair and there's something for everyone. The gates opened at noon to the public, but the Livestock Show kicked off the fair earlier in the morning. You'll be seeing these prize winning animals again at the auction at noon on Saturday. Elsewhere, many others competed for their own "best in show" like the owner of one enormous sunflower, and families flocked to the stables to pet the horses.
When asked 'Who is your favorite horse here,' four-year-old Dixie Meier of Gwinn said, "My sister's."
Shows and performances, like the Great Lakes Timber Show, are scheduled throughout the fair. Schmidt Amusements provides all of the games and the 17 rides, and by the afternoon, the rides were in full swing.
"The Scrambler is good, but I think my favorite is the Ferris Wheel," said 12-year-old Bridget Pliska of Marquette.
As the day progressed, the lines got long and the food got cooking, and there was a lot of it. Fifty-five food and shopping vendors decorate the Fairgrounds. With more rides and vendors than last year, the Fair Board is hoping to see even more visitors than last year's record attendance. There is one major wildcard that could impact this year's numbers: the weather.
"As far as the cooler weather and that stuff, I think you're going to have more people coming out. The last few years it's been in the 80s and 90s and that stuff. I think that deters people from coming here. They'd rather be at the lakes, so I think that the overcast, cooler weather is going to bring attendance up," said Ron Lauren, a Fair Board Member.
They need to see about 10,000 visitors to break last year's record. Between all the family fun and friendly competition, the Fair Board is optimistic about attendance.
"I think it brings the community together coming out to visit each other at the fair," Lauren said.
The fair opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. and continues through Sunday. Sunday's hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Fair Board is looking for more volunteers to help clean and maintain the fair. If interested, go to the main entrance and tell them you'd like to volunteer.