The Upper Peninsula State Fair has been in full swing since Monday, but Thursdayâ??s schedule was a little more special.
Honored Citizensâ?? Day gave free admission to all active military, retired military and veterans to thank them for their service to our country.
â??I served my country for four years in the United States Marine Corps back in the 1960s, which seems like a long time ago to some folks but to me it feels like yesterdayâ?? said Jim Caszatt, of Gladstone.
A large majority of those in attendance were retired military and veterans, who enjoyed reflecting on their experiences with one another.
â??We will probably spend an hour or two just walking around saying â??helloâ?? to the fellow veteransâ?? said Caszatt.
The 2014 Upper Peninsula Veteran of the Year award was also presented on Thursday to Jim Edberg of Felch. Edberg was awarded his honorary cap and jacket by last yearâ??s veteran of the year, Philip Taskila.
â??I feel incredibly honoredâ?? said Edberg. â??It is a very special program. It is something that means a lot to me. Whenever I get a chance to be in the presence of other veterans, it is a special place to be, it really is.â??
Governor Rick Snyder was present for the ceremony to honor Edberg and his service.
â??You served our country with great distinctionâ?? said Snyder. â??That is the kind of leadership that makes us proud to be Michiganders and Americans.â??
But the day was not all business. The special guests had the chance to enjoy what the fair had to offer.
â??The jams, jellies, pies and cakes have always had a certain appeal to me, as you can tellâ?? said Caszatt.
â??I am just thinking about the rides right now and the fried breadâ?? said Ray McGeshick, a veteran from the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center.
â??I am going to go check out those elephant ears over thereâ?? said Taskila.
The Upper Peninsula State Fair ends on Sunday.