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      U.P. State Fair kicks off

      The U.P. State Fair is the largest community event in the Upper Peninsula.

      It also has the distinction of being the only state fair in the State of Michigan. It's a pretty big deal, and like most big deals a lot of planning and effort goes into it and more.

      "We've had a year of planning that has gone into this," says Vickie Micheau of U.P. State Fair management. "As a matter of fact, not only are we getting ready for this year, but we have events that are scheduled for next year and beyond."

      The fair's attractions and offerings seem endless. There's a wide variety of rides, nearly every kind of food imaginable including a new pizza/pasty hybrid called a pizzasty, and even a woman who makes sculptures out of cheese. There weren't many fairgoers around as the finishing touches were still being added, but there were plenty of vendors from in and out of the area, at least one of which keeps coming back for the good company.

      "The people are friendly," says John Girschle of Girschle's Flagpoles. "Something about the Upper Peninsula as opposed to downstate. I'm not degrading the downstate but everybody up here seems friendly."

      No matter what reason first brings people to the fair, Michaeu says that it isn't hard at all to find reasons to come back.

      "Whether it's grandstand entertainment that our guests are looking for, if it's fun, free entertainment on the midway, if it's fair food, you can come through the gates and there will definitely be something for everybody."

      The fair offically started today at 5 p.m. and runs until August 17.

      To find out more about the fair and its many attractions, visit their website.