Reece Catenaro, 8, strikes a pose with his calf, ‘Blaze’ on opening day at the Eastern MI State Fair.

Plenty of family fun on tap through the fairgrounds

IMLAY CITY — Hours before the official start of the Eastern Michigan State Fair on Tuesday, July 23, Fair staff and 4-H parents and kids were busy prepping the grounds and preparing their animals for the annual 4-H Auction.
Among them was 8-year-old Reece Catenaro of Imlay City, who took a moment to pose proudly with his favorite calf, “Blaze.”
Reece, who represents Lapeer Livestock, said he enjoys the opportunity to take part in the fair.
“I like working with the calves and the steers,” he said, “and I also like watching the races — especially the trailer races.”
Other early arrivals included the Anstett kids, Ethan, 2, Kenzie, 4, and Dominic, 5, who were checking out the poultry barn with their mom, Kim, and grandparents, Fred and Carolyn of Columbiaville.
“I like to see all of the animals,” said Kenzie. “I like to go up on the Ferris wheel.”
Fair Board member Brian Zender could be seen attending to some of final details in anticipation of the official fair opening. With promising weather in the forecast, Zender expects large crowds at the fairgrounds during the remainder of the week. Coming attractions The 2019 Eastern Michigan State Fair continues through Saturday, July 27 at the historic Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds in Imlay City. Daily admission will be $10 on Wednesday before 2 p.m., before increasing to $15 per person after 2 p.m. Admission will be $15 all day on Thursday.
On Friday and Saturday, admission is $20 per person. Children age 3 and under will be admitted free, minus carnival ride privileges.
Parking on the grounds is free every day and the daily admission price includes access to carnival rides and grandstand events, the petting zoo, Sea Lion Splash, Reptile Park, and performances by the “Flying Pages” and “Sweet Willie Tea,” along with other scheduled events.
Livestock Auction
For traditional fair-goers, there will be an abundance of 4-H activities, including livestock exhibits and the annual Fair Auction to take place on Thursday, July 25.Grandstand events
All of this year’s main events begin at 7 p.m. at the Fair grandstands. The 2019 entertainment lineup features:
•Drag Racing on Wednesday, July 24.
•A Monster Truck show on Thursday, July 25.
•The Bump-N-Run on Friday, July 26.
•The always-popular Demolition Derby is back on Saturday, July 27.
Special Days back
The Fair will again offer free admission on Thursday, July 25 to pre-registered residents with special needs and their caregivers, sponsored by Imlay City Ford; and a Veterans Day for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel, co-sponsored by Kroger Foods and the Lapeer County Office of Veterans Affairs.
The final free admission day takes place Friday, July 26, when the Fair Board acknowledges local foster children and parents with a special appreciation program during halftime of the evening’s Bump-N-Run event, which starts at 7 p.m.
For the convenience of visitors, the brand-new Eastern Michigan Fair Office can be found in the tan building to the west of the fairgrounds’ entrance turnstiles.
For further information about the 2019 Eastern Michigan State Fair, call the office at 810-724-4145, email to: or visit the Eastern Michigan State Fair website.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.