The 2020 U.P. State Fair, scheduled for Aug. 17-23 in Escanaba, has joined the list of fairs that are postponed until 2021. The U.P. State Fair Authority made the decision June 30, announcing a modified version of the junior livestock sale and auction.
The U.P. State Fair Authority approved a plan July 8 for a livestock expo that will be held Aug. 17-22 on the U.P. State Fairgrounds.
“Youth and agriculture are the foundation of the fair, and the U.P. State Fair Authority is happy to announce that they have approved a plan that includes the Junior Market Livestock Auction on Saturday, along with other events and activities that will reward exhibitors for their hard work and dedication,” says Phyllis French, chair of the U.P. State Fair Authority.
Most of the rules defined in the Exhibitors’ Guide to Classes and Awards will be followed. However, the 2020 weeklong event will be known as the Lori Branstrom Memorial Livestock Expo.
Branstrom died Feb. 14 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She had a leadership role with the fair management team and was largely responsible for the success of the exhibitions, award programs and auction held during fair week.
Emma Axtell, the youth representative on the department advisory committee from Menominee County, supported the recognition by saying, “Naming the expo after Lori is a perfect way to honor all the hard work she has done for all of us and every kid. It wouldn’t be possible, even this year, to hold this event without all her years of planning and organization.”
The approved plan includes schedule and department class changes to allow for compliance with social distancing, crowd-size restrictions and other guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders.
All changes will be communicated to all registered exhibitors. Updates will be posted on the fair’s Facebook page.
Restrictions in place
At the heart of the decision to postpone this year’s fair were Michigan’s current crowd-size restrictions that would vastly limit the state fair’s ability to provide the same familiar experience fairgoers are used to.
“The authority and management team understand that the U.P. State Fair has been an exceptional event where attendees have high expectations for a fun and unforgettable experience,” says Vickie Micheau, executive director of the fair’s management agency and the Delta County Chamber of Commerce.
“We hope and believe that the 2021 U.P. State Fair can return to truly be the ‘Best Fair Yet,’ and look forward to keeping alive one of Michigan’s favorite annual events during a safer, healthier time.”
According to a Daily Press report, the Michigan State University Product Center’s Center for Economic Analysis found the fair in 2018 saw 92,000 people go through the gates, with visitors spending $554,860 in the fairgrounds on admission tickets, vendors, entertainment and midway attractions.
Fairgoers also spent more than $5.35 million at area hotels, restaurants and retail stores, and that the fair resulted in an economic impact of $2,716,240.
An important component of the fair is the Junior Market Livestock Auction. In 2018, auction sales for cattle, swine, sheep and goats totaled $444,442.
For additional information, call the U.P. State Fair office at 906-786-2192 or email email@example.com.