‘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.