Midland County Fair: A week of entertainment, midway rides, fair food, and agriculture education

Late summer is here, and that means the return of the annual Midland County Fair. The festivities kick off Aug. 14-20, with a weeklong lineup of free entertainment, ticketed grandstands events, midway rides, fair food, agriculture education, and more. 

The summertime tradition has been hosted for 80+ years on the 118 acres of the Midland Fairgrounds (6905 Eastman Avenue). 
"It’s a great way for the fair public to learn about farm life or rural life."
Midland County Fair Manager Trish Steele says the return of the 2021 fair in a traditional sense saw an uptick in attendees. The 2020 version was restricted to only exhibitors and parents, but the general public was not admitted.

“Last year, we saw a tremendous return. It was overwhelming,” Steele says. “We had more people than we had anticipated, and a really wonderful response to folks coming out in the community and helping to celebrate the fair. Generally, we see about 140,000-145,000 people throughout the fair. Last year, we calculated 185,000 people. It really was significantly larger than in years past.”
"The fair is a wonderful place for youth to be recognized for all of their hard work..."
Steele says it was nice to see the community’s participation in events last year, and hopes it continues. “We see great numbers and great interest in both merchants and people wanting to participate in this year’s fair,” she says.

“The Midland County Fair is committed to its community, providing an opportunity for young and old together, and to celebrate all that we have in agriculture education,” Steel says. “The fair is a wonderful place for youth to be recognized for all of their hard work individually and through their club. It’s a great way for the fair public to learn about farm life or rural life, if they visit the livestock exhibits.”

Entertainment follows the usual setup, with two nights of Super Kicker Rodeo on Monday and Tuesday, a USA Demolition Bum & Run car event on Wednesday, a Figure 8 Derby/Burnout on Thursday, SJO Super Cross event on Friday, and Auto Cross and Demolition Derby on Saturday.

This year’s free entertainment includes three MuxLow Exotics reptile encounter shows daily, and live music on the Community Free Stage. Monday is Merchant’s Day, Tuesday is Children’s Day, Wednesday is Agriculture Day, Thursday is Community/Family Day, Friday is 4-H Day, Saturday is Industrial Day. The entire schedule of events can be found here.

The Midland County Fair will be held at the Fairgrounds on Eastman Avenue, Aug. 14-20.
Fair admission is free. Tickets are $15 for grandstand events for adults, and $10 for kids 10 and under. Presale carnival ride wristbands are $25 (until Aug.14). Daily carnival ride wristbands are $30 (until Aug.20). 

Fair parking costs $8 for a single entrance, or $20 for a weekly pass. Parking passes can be purchased at the gate or in advance at the fair office. 

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.