Michigan State Fair
The first official Michigan State Fair was held in 1849, which is claimed by the state of Michigan to be the oldest state fair in the United States. The first fair was held in Detroit, Michigan. Subsequent fairs were held in other cities until it received its permanent home in 1905 at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit.
In 1904, Joseph L. Hudson, together with three of his associates, decided to give the State Fair its permanent home. They formed the State Fair Land Company, which acquired 135 acres (0.55 km2) between 7½ and 8 Mile Roads, east of Woodward Avenue. Because Hudson had no interest in running the fair, he sold the land to the Michigan State Agricultural Society for one dollar on April 18, 1905. The Agricultural Society accepted the land then purchased an additional 32 acres (130,000 m2), extending the fairgrounds to 167 acres (0.68 km2). Throughout the following years, additional land was purchased and sold. The present size of the fairgrounds is 164 acres (0.66 km2).
Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum, also known as the Hockeytown State Fair Coliseum, is a 5,600-seat multi-purpose arena located on the fairgrounds. Two NASCAR races were held at a one-mile track at the fairgrounds. Tommy Thompson won the 1951 event and Tim Flock won in 1952.
On October 30, 2009, Governor Jennifer Granholm cut all funding to the Michigan State fair. Attendance peaked at 1.2 million in 1966. In 2009 the fair attracted 217,000 visitors. The state fair was not held in 2010 & 2011.
On April 9, 2012, Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 515 and House Bill 4803, which would authorize the transfer of the fairgrounds land to the Land Bank Fast Track Authority, which would oversee the land for future development, including plans for a station for the proposed commuter rail service.
In 2011 Great Lakes Agricultural Fair, a 501 C (3) organization, was created to provide a resurgence and rising of an agricultural event that had historically provided a rich a meaningful venue for the state of Michigan. The agricultural industry is Michigan's second leading economic industry.
The Great Lakes State Fair is a not-for-profit organization committed to excellence in providing opportunities for development and promotion of agriculture, education,industry and family entertainment while preserving our Michigan Heritage. The Great Lakes State Fair will enhance the "Quality of Life" for all citizens throughout Michigan and will offer a wide venue of activities to meet and exceed expectations. The fair is being built upon the root-strength and tradition of our previous state fairs and will become a showcase for so many assets of Michigan.
- "Michigan State Fairgrounds NASCAR results". Racing-reference. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
- Bell, Dawson (2009-10-30). "Granholm cuts State Fair from budget". Freep.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "It's official: State Fair a goner". Freep.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- The Future of the Michigan State Fair
- "Michiganians struggle with loss of state fair". Retrieved 2013-11-02.[dead link]
- Jonathan Oosting (2012-04-09). ""Snyder: Former state fairgrounds in Detroit would be 'natural location' for commuter rail station", April 9, 2012". mlive.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- ""Snyder to sign bills fast tracking sale of Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit", April 9, 2012". mlive.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Great Lakes State Fair announcement today". Wxyz.com. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- 02:33 PM (2012-06-01). "Great Lakes State Fair Replacing 'Michigan State Fair' in 2012". Metroparent.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.