No butter cows in Detroit: Michigan ends summer without state fair for 1st time in 160 yearsBy Corey Williams, AP
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tradition ends: No Michigan state fair this year
DETROIT — This is the first year in 160 that Michigan won’t have a state fair.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm canceled it, saying the debt-ridden state could no longer afford to subsidize it. The fair had been losing money and attendance had dwindled from a peak of 1 million in 1966 to fewer than 220,000 people last year.
Granholm’s decision, however, makes Michigan the only Midwestern state and one of few nationwide without a state fair.
While Michigan’s struggling economy played a role in the fair’s demise, another problem was its inability to successfully marry its agrarian roots with money-making entertainment.
Successful fairs, like that in Iowa, draw crowds with big-name entertainers like Keith Urban and Sheryl Crow. Michigan hadn’t been able to snag top stars.