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Senior Vika Nunez and Victoria Marshall ’21 attended the fair in 2019, the last time it was held due to COVID-19 cancellations. Collegian | Rachel Kookogey
Senior Vika Nunez and Vic­toria Mar­shall ’21 attended the fair in 2019, the last time it was held due to COVID-19 can­cel­la­tions.
Col­legian | Rachel Kookogey

‘The Most Popular Fair on Earth’ is back at the Hillsdale County Fair­grounds between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, and it’s pro­jected to be more popular than ever before.

Tra­di­tionally, about 40,000 people attend during the week. This year, man­agers are expecting that number to jump significantly. 

“If we follow through with what most fairs have seen, we expect a sub­stantial increase because people have missed a year and are very excited to get back,” according to Fair Manager Lori Hull. 

The theme, “Together Again” cel­e­brates the return of the fair, which was can­celed last year due to COVID-19 and replaced by a fair-food drive-thru and a drive-in concert. 

Hosting nearly 150 vendors selling food, ser­vices, and mer­chandise, and including a vast array of live­stock shows, the fair seeks to forge a con­nection between the com­munity and the agri­culture that feeds them.

“First and and foremost, I see it as a sig­nif­icant oppor­tunity to connect people with live­stock, food, and things like that through our live­stock exhibits,” Hull said.

The fair will include a live­stock birth tent, which will have sheep and cattle antic­i­pated to give birth during the fair week. The exhibit will allow fair-goers to connect with the cycle of farm life in a unique way. 

“It’s a great way for the com­munity to just spend time together and enjoy it,” sophomore Joey Spoelstra said. 

The fair will also feature new vendors, including Outlaw Sweet Corn, a roasted corn booth, and a bubble tea cafe that will be serving breakfast waffles, fla­vored coffee, and bubble tea. 

Sunday night will feature a Christian concert including ‘We Are Mes­sengers,’ a band orig­i­nally located in Mon­aghan, Ireland, but which has been based in the United States since 2015. ‘Ten Talents,’ a rock band from Adrian, Michigan, will also perform.

“I think for anybody who hasn’t been in Hillsdale, they don’t realize quite how the world stops for a week, and the focus really is here at the fair­grounds,” Hull said.