Crowds happy for event’s comeback

Luke Kage, Michael Magee and Jared Taylor of Dryden and Brett Lestage of Imlay City bask in the fun found at the midway, including their favorite OMG! ride.

IMLAY CITY — Family and friends gathered together to enjoy the Eastern Michigan State Fair last week in it’s true form once again. Due to the pandemic, last year’s event was unlike any previous year with a ‘show and go’ showcase to promote social distancing.

“I take my family every year, so we definitely missed it.” Keeley Creger, formerly of Almont shared.

The event welcomed back several popular attractions including the Sea Lion Splash show that offered several performances throughout each day.

“We got to watch the sea lion show…some of the circus acts, the rodeo, and visit with all the animals, too!” Creger went on to say.

Along with must-see shows the event hosted other unique opportunities for families to share interactive experiences. “Kam’s favorite was either the New York fun house or holding an alligator,” Creger said, referring to her son.

She and her family took full advantage of everything the fair had to offer.

“My daughter and I tried all the snacks including elephant ears, butterfly chips, pretzels and slushies, while my son and his dad rode the rides. We spent almost a good 10 hours there,” Creger said.

The Eastern Michigan State Fair is also well-known for their livestock barns that host steer, swine, horses, goats and more.

“My son shows a heifer and my daughter shows a horse,” shared Jennifer Craig who was thrilled to be back at the fair. She and her family stay on the fairgrounds for the entirety of the week along with many other livestock owners.

Arnold Amusements decorated the midway with classic rides and attractions such as the ferris wheel, hang glider, games and of course a plethora of kids and teens many of whom visit the fair every day.

“I’ve been at the fair for five days,” Luke Kage of Dryden shared.

“The OMG! is my favorite ride. I’ve ridden it 20 times,” Kage said of the new attraction brought by Arnold Amusements this year. The ride is a reimagined version of the classic attraction, The Freak Out.

The grandstands welcomed a jam-packed schedule of V8 Oval Track Racing, a Bull Rodeo and of course the fan-favorite, Demolition Derby.

“I can remember coming here when I was their age,” Jenny Cosek, formerly of Imlay City said of her grandchildren.

“As a grandma it’s great to bring them back.”