Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Deep-fried cheese curds, elephant ears, deep-fried corn dogs, chili cheese nachos, deep-fried onion rings…. fair food! Don’t you just love county fairs? I do, and between now and the end of September there are over 60 county fairs in Michigan with the assorted youth, agricultural, and 4-H fairs mixed in. There’s even an Upper Penisula State Fair (August 13-19 in Escanaba). The Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitions produces a handy pamphlet that lists all fairs by date, location, and contact phone number. But, what we really need to talk about is how to attend all of those fairs and stay healthy in the process!
- First of all, walking around on sunny days in the heat calls for normal summertime precautions – sunscreen, light-colored clothing, a hat that covers your entire head (not just a sun visor).
- Next, remember to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (noon – 5pm). Rest under a shade tree or view the exhibits in the pavilions.
- Eat healthy. Or, eat unhealthy foods in moderation! More and more vendors offer fruit cups, plain grilled burgers (even veggie burgers), frozen yogurt, frozen bananas on a stick. So you do have choices.
Did you know? Michigan Agricultural Fairs are an economic and social asset to over 86 communities. They are the ultimate showcase of Michigan Agriculture. With an attendance of over 6,149,000, they are a major factor in Michigan Tourism. The average Michigan fair has 282 volunteers contributing a total of 6,221 hours and $32,945 of in-kind contributions annually to help make the fair a success. The Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions was organized in 1885. The Michigan State Fair was the oldest state fair in the United States, begining in 1849 and was located for over 100 years on the same spot at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Ave in Detroit Michigan. (MAFE Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitons)
Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian, downtown Lansing library