Michigan State Fair celebrates 10 years in Novi

Fair goers fill the middle of last year’s Michigan State Fair in Novi. This year’s fair will include expanded food options.

Two Rock N Roll K9s arrive in a police cruiser for their show at the Michigan State Fair in 2021. The Rock N Roll K9 performance team will be returning to the fair this year.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

NOVI — The Suburban Collection Showplace is gearing up for the annual Michigan State Fair, which takes place September 1-5.

This year’s fair will feature two new attractions: the Pork Chop Revue, a showcase of “some of the smartest pigs in the country”, and the Cool Zoo, a wildlife experience focused on conservation, education and research. The zoo offers exotic wildlife exhibits and live crab races.

The Pork Chop Revue has been around since 1956 and has entertained guests nationwide. Florida owner Les Kimes said the revue was started by his father and has been going on for four generations, as his 6-year-old grandson also performs on the show.

“We adopt pigs like you would adopt a puppy, a dog or a cat. We adopt them when they are small, like 2 weeks old, and hand raise them,” Kimes said. “They live their life with us. Pigs are getting fat. My biggest pig weighs over 800 pounds, and these guys really perform.

He said this year he added more animals, so this is Porkchop Revue and Friends. Kimes said that in addition to pigs, the show will feature goats and a llama. He said the show includes a lot of tongue-in-cheek comedy.

The magazine has been featured in several movies and TV shows. More recently, Kimes said his piggies made it to the quarterfinals on “America’s Got Talent” Season 15.

“We’re really looking forward to (playing at the Michigan State Fair),” Kimes said. “Our motto has always been, ‘No matter the gig, think pork.’ We’ve never done it there. Hopefully it will draw crowds there. … It’s not just a kids’ show – it’s fun. We have a sequel in Kentucky. Maybe we’ll get us this in Michigan.

The Pork Chop Revue and Cool Zoo will perform several times a day for the duration of the fair.

The fair also features a high profile show, Rock N Roll K9’s, a community and cultural stage, a main entertainment stage and the famous Shrine Circus, which will be held in a new larger air-conditioned tent. Circus schedules and more information can be found at www.michiganstatefairllc.com/shrine-circus.

The Midway has been extended and will include additional rides, attractions and dining options. Riley Stechschulte – operations and volunteer coordinator for the fair – said last year the fair had 18 different food trucks, and this year the fair will have 27. She said the food options will include more cultural selections, barbecue, turkey legs and tacos as well as classic carnival dishes such as funnel cakes and corn dogs.

“It’s a pretty wide selection,” she said. “So we’ll have tons of food options.”

The beer tent will house the Friday Night Flights event where guests can sample samples of local brews starting at 4:30 p.m., with additional samples for $20 VIP entry and $15 for general admission starting at 5:30 p.m. . To purchase tickets for the Friday Night Flights event, which includes admission to the show, visit www.michiganstatefairllc.com/celebration-beer.

Live music on the Ascension Main Stage in the Entertainment Pavilion will continue for the duration of the fair, featuring the State Fair Superstar competition with a different local band each night.

The Moovin’ Thru the Midway 5K, benefiting United Military Families, will take place at 8 a.m. on September 3. Participants will pass through the exhibition grounds and end at the beer tent. There is also a virtual entry option for those wishing to run the race from home or at a location of their choosing. To register, visit www.michiganstate fairllc.com/5k.

It’s been 10 years since the Michigan State Fair was resurrected at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

“It was kind of like a community effort to bring the fair back,” Stechschulte said. “There were people involved in the original fair, and then there were people who had the space for it to happen at the Showplace. So it was group work. »

The fair was successful in the city with 287,000 people attending in 2021. Stechschulte said it expects to see around the same number of guests this year. Due to high attendance, 62% higher than in 2019, the show has waived parking fees and improved its parking availability. Improved parking, closer to the building, is available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, shuttle services will be available for those who need to park in the more remote lots. In honor of the 10th anniversary, the first 100 families to enter the show each day will receive a limited-edition tote bag.

This year, all minors will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian after 6 p.m. to enter the fair. According to a press release, the event organizers have adopted this policy “to maintain a friendly, family-friendly and safe environment for all visitors”.

“The Michigan State Fair LLC is dedicated to the continued development and support of agriculture, entrepreneurship, and family entertainment, while preserving the legacy and beloved traditions of the original State Fair,” said fair officials said in a press release. “This privately produced event features all the positive aspects of past fairs, including substantial positive economic impact, with major charitable and community benefits, all without any burden on the taxpayer.”

The fair will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on September 1 and 2; 10am-10pm Sept 3-4; and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on September 5. The indoor breeding halls will close at 5 p.m. The indoor vendor room will close at 7 p.m.

For more information on tickets and times, visit www.michiganstatefairllc.com/tickets.