Hard work, planning pays off for fair
August 05, 2009
With weather permitting, this should be another outstanding, crowd pleasing Eastern Michigan Fair.
The Lapeer Ag Society gets to show off its facility. One they are proud of and rightfully so, they have worked hard to continue a tradition of improving the fairgrounds.
The Ag Society's Board of Management, several years ago amid staggering debt and decaying buildings, rolled up their sleeves and began making changes. Some were not very popular, such as leveling the old horse track and the historic horse barns, but the board felt it was time for a change.
Slowly but surely the fair's face began to change, and the board's years of planning are becoming a reality. Keeping a close eye on expenses, no rain and hard work have resulted in a fairgrounds and an Ag Society on the rebound.
Fair Manager, Ian Kempf and his staff have provided the community with outstanding family rural entertainment and by comparison to other entertainment costs, it's very affordable. And those funds help provide the funds to continue the board's plan of renovation in place.
It's a plan that seems to be working.
Today, the fair's debt has been whittled down to a manageable level and the grounds themselves have had almost an entire facelift. As you walk the grounds you'll see all sorts of improvements.
The fair board has taken the time to devise a plan and has the internal strength to follow through on those plans. The fairgrounds today are safer, cleaner, and more visitor-friendly than at any time in recent history.
One of the objectives of this fair board was to make the fairgrounds a multi-use facility. The board has looked for ways to increase revenues from venues other than the week of the fair. The list of events they already hold at the fairgrounds has expanded dramatically. The fairgrounds hosts more events now than at any other time in its long history. And, I'm certain even more are being planned.
So go to the 2009 Eastern Michigan Fair. See and hear many of the same things your grandparents saw and heard when their parents took them to the fair. You'll see livestock being gussied and groomed—that hasn't changed. You'll see pink pigs, blue ribbons and brown cows. And you will see pride in the eyes of the youngsters who've worked hard to raise prize animals, just like the old days.
And it still happens that the smells, sounds and bright lights of nighttime at the fair cast a spell of excitement over all who attend. This is not just history—it happens today, too.
The fair has deep roots in our community and thanks to the hard work of many, the fair will continue to be a rich part of Imlay City's history.
I for one tip my hat to fair board members for their dedication and foresight.
As always, visit the fair and capture those special images as they unfold this year, just as they have for many generations.