Gogebic County Fair pushes ahead after setback

U.P. Engineers and Architect study finds many fair buildings not useable
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Just two weeks before Gogebic County Fair, many buildings on fairgrounds are unfit for use, according to a U.P. Engineers and Architect study.

Fair organizers are now adjusting where some of their participants will be during fair week.

The Gogebic County Board of Commissioners requested the study in 2021 and this June the final report was released.

“The county board knew that there was a fair amount of deferred maintenance out there,” Gogebic County Board of Commissioners Chairman James Lorenson said. “We want to catch up on that and at least identify what that is so that we can address it reasonably in a manner over a few years that won’t break the budget. It ensures that the buildings that the county owns are safe and functional.”

Lorenson says the board commissioned the study to try and get an idea of what work they have to do.

“I’m convinced that the county board is doing the right thing by trying to fix, repair and maintain the facilities they have,” Lorenson said.

The study indicated the grandstand, poultry barn and exposition building are not to be used just two weeks before the fair.

“We’ve had a few setbacks, but we are moving forward with all plans for the fair,” Gogebic County Fair Board Chairman James Byrns said. “I believe that we are going to have a record fair.”

Byrns says he is hopeful the fair will find a path forward.

“The buildings themselves, we will have to look and see what we can do with them if it all possible. If we can fix them or if we have to replace them,” Byrns said. “Then we have to figure out where the money will come from.”

Byrns says the fair has been able to move plans around to ensure nothing is canceled and everything will be on track for the 100th year celebration of the county fair. Visit the fair’s website to view the whole event schedule for fair week.

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