Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Allegan County Fair begins this Friday

The 2021 Allegan County Fair broke records in attendance and brought smiles to young and old alike as people cautiously moved through the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2022 Allegan County Fair opens this Friday, and the Fair Board and staff feel it will be bigger and better than ever.
Executive Director, CFE Saree Miller shared that the Fair Board’s goal remains to create a bigger and better fair with higher level entertainment.
Special groups can watch for their specific day when Fair fees are reduced.
Sunday = Family Day with carloads entering for $15 until 3pm;
Monday = Children’s & Discount Day with kids K-12 admitted for free and rides are $3 each;
Tuesday = Senior Citizen Day with all seniors $4 until noon and breakfast beginning at 8am;
Wednesday = Ladies’ Day with ladies $4 until noon and a special program at 9am;
Thursday = Veterans Day with all past and present military admitted free;
Friday = Allegan County, Show Us Your Talent at 6pm
Miller feels that Fair goers will notice improvements around the fairgrounds beginning at the new main gate. In addition, the fairground has sprouted a new storage building, new flange gates in the pig barn, and new chairs on the track for Main Stage Shows.
“We have invested a lot into upgrades. People will see the difference,” Miller believes.
Along with the traditional fare of sights and entertainment around the fairgrounds, the John Pahl Historic Village reaches a milestone. It was 50 years ago that Jewett School was erected on the grounds to join the barns filled with historic memorabilia. Today, visitors take a step back in time with more than a dozen buildings and thousands of artifacts from Allegan County’s history.
The Fair Parade
A huge draw to the Fair remains Monday’s Fair Parade. Executive Director, CFE Miller has been chosen to be the Grand Marshall to lead the hundreds of entries.
“This is quite an honor, and I am grateful to have been asked,” explained Miller. “Rather than a motorized vehicle, I am excited to be pulled through the parade route in a carriage drawn by Garth (Gus) Maurer’s team of horses.”
Grandstand Entertainment
The entertainment quality was addressed beginning in October 2021 when Miller traveled to Nashville to meet with companies that contract and place entertainers.
Fair 2022 entertainment begins with Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias on Friday, September 9th. Immediately on the heels of Iglesias, Sam Hunt and Travis Denning hit Main Stage on Saturday, September 10th. To keep the grandstand crowd engaged, the Unique Motor Sports Off-Road Demo Derby moves off the stage and onto the track on Sunday, September 11th.
Monday, September 12th, the Parade steps off in Downtown Allegan at 6:30pm and begins passing in front of the grandstand judges about 7pm. The Flying Star Professional Rodeo will fill the space on Tuesday the 13th while the WPI/NTPA Truck and Tractor Pulls rev their engines on Wednesday, September 14th.
Entertainment moves from the track back to the stage for Jimmie Allen with Niko Moon and Neon Union on Thursday, September 15th then with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Something “Y” following on September 16th.
Closing night will feature the State Championship Demolition Derby. This competition has been a standard tradition for closing night of the Fair. According to Jim Trolard, it moved to State Championship status about 7 years ago.
Miller reminds ticket purchasers to be watchful of scammers. The Fair went to extra time and expense to buy back their .com address. The only place to buy tickets should be then click on official tickets. Scalpers have been charging exorbitant prices. Any ticket for Main Stage shows should not run more than $86. Higher prices are a SCAM.
Midway Carnival
The carnival rides draw all ages to the Fair. Skerbeck Entertainment provides armband prices of $30 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday. Monday – Thursday, bands cost $25. Miller suggests that anyone spending most days at the fair consider a $90 9-day band as the best investment. Single rides can add up, so wristbands can be a definite savings.
County Talent
Visual and performing arts are featured each year. The Home Economics and Arts building holds an array of photography, painting, sketches, quilts, needle crafts, antiques plus food and more.
Under the guidance of Colleen Banks, Allegan, Show Us Your Talent competition begins in the Youth Building on Saturday the 10th at 2pm, continues Sunday the 11th at 2pm with Semi-Finals on Thursday the 15th at 6pm, and finals Friday the 16th at 6pm.
Animals Galore
Fairgoers wander the barns that feature animals from around the county. 4-H Club and Open Class participants will have their regular fare of everything from poultry to rabbits, pigs, goats, sheep, cattle and horses small and large. Miller found, “The number of entries are about the same as last year with some areas like swine, sheep and dairy being higher.”
Throughout the year, 4-H leaders run clinics and camps for 4-H members. These opportunities lead to a full range of shows during the days of the Fair. The culminating activity for many young raisers comes during the Wednesday Youth Auction, and the Youth All Around Showmanship Competition on the last Saturday at 1pm. Anyone can participate in the bidding process and leave with meat for the freezer.
Along with the 4-H youth, there are Open Class entries. Some of these fine animals can be seen during Open Class Shows during mornings throughout the week.
Food and Vendors
Miller shared that several new foods can be found across the Midway which include Taqueria Don Chepe on the 4-H Trail and Fire Kissed Pizza on W. Ferris Wheel Way.
“The industrial building booths are completely sold out this year,” shared Miller. “This phenomena often happens after a big year like we had last year. Some vendors will be recognized as yearly participants while others are new to the Fair.”
For 10 days in September, the Allegan County Fair excites a wide variety of individuals that enjoy different aspects of Fair week. Fair 2022 promises to address the palates of fairgoers of all ages.

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