ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The 2019 U.P. State Fair kicked off Monday night. Crews had been working all weekend, and even up until 5 p.m. Monday to make sure that everything was ready to go.
"We do have grandstand entertainment tonight, so we're getting ready for that and it's going to be a great kickoff to what we think is going to be one of the best weeks ever at the U.P. State Fair," said Vickie Micheau, Executive Director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce and fair organizer.
This is the tenth year that the U.P. State Fair has been under local control, with the Upper Peninsula Fair Authority running everything.
"What has happened is it has resulted in financial stability that we didn't have previously," said Micheau.
Every year thousands make their way to Delta County for the fair, and that makes the week-long event an integral part of the local economy.
"It certainly has a significant economic impact," said Micheau.
Every vendor benefits from having a spot in the fair, and so do local farms, who spend the better part of the year getting animals ready to present and sell.
"It takes a lot of work. First you got to get them used to you because they're usually shy, it takes a lot of work," said Shelbie Soderman from Soderman Farms.
Winning a prize for the care of your animals is invaluable exposure, and can lead to plenty of sales during, and even after the fair.
"The fair is really important to the farm,” said Soderman. “It gets your name out, it gets the business out that people buy the pig from."
Officials are hoping for the largest fair on record.
"Every year we think that we are so close to breaking the 100,000 people mark and we believe with everything that's going on, and the weather forecast that we will certainly do that this year," said Micheau.
Also in attendance at this year’s U.P. State Fair is representatives from Mountain Dew. As part of their DEWnited States series, the company had previously made bottles for all fifty states. An unfortunate promotional poster however, left the Upper Peninsula off the map.
Mountain Dew apologized, and even went as far as making an official bottle just for the Upper Peninsula. They will be outside the Grandstand at the fair Monday through Wednesday.
The fair continues through Sunday with gates opening at 9 a.m. every day.