Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Michigan State Fair

Entertainment diversity is the hallmark of the Michigan State Fairgrounds. A year round schedule of events climaxes during two fun-filled weeks in August when The Fair comes to town. Detroiters and citizens from across the state gather to enjoy music, midway games, and all the activities offered by the nation’s second oldest State Fair.

Michigan had been a state only 12 years when the first fair was held at a site, “about 20 acres,” located on Woodward north of Grand Circus Park. After 1849, the event migrated to various towns, returning to Detroit periodically. Finally, in 1905 property at Woodward and Eight Mile Road was acquired as a permanent home for the State Fair.

Historically, the Fair has served as a forum for agricultural interests, and its classic buildings bear names such as Dairy Cattle Building and Grand Champion Barn. Annually, farmers from across the state win blue ribbons for their livestock and produce. Entertainment at the Fair ranges from traditional midway rides to live performers that, over many years, have included Bob Hope, the Ink Spots, Alice Cooper, Boyz II Men, and Z.Z. Top.

The Fair and Exposition Center is a year-round entertainment campus. With its 7,000 seat Coliseum, it plays host to numerous concerts, rodeos, circuses, car shows, dog shows, antique shows and various community gatherings. Facilities throughout the grounds cater to golf, baseball, basketball, hockey and equestrian competitions.

On permanent display at the Michigan State Fairgrounds is the 115 year old World’s Largest Stove, created by the Detroit Stove Company for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Also on site is the home that President Ulysses Grant occupied during his Army years in Detroit and the Michigan War Veterans Memorial.



Michigan State Fair Postcard, 1910 - 2006.004.278

Photo of the Michigan State Fair, 1981 - 2012.022.652

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