Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 7, 2013

Fair offers fun for everyone

BY MICHAEL WALTON mwalton@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Brothers Lukas and Nathan Deschler had a tough time settling on their favorite part of this week’s Northwestern Michigan Fair.

The Traverse City brothers mentioned the rides, the food and the animals while Nathan sipped lemonade and Lukas munched on a corn dog Tuesday afternoon. They did manage to reach a consensus on one topic: bumper cars are the best ride.

“You get to ram into people,” Nathan Deschler said.

The boys’ grandmother, Deanna Deschler, offered a different opinion on the best aspect of the fair.

“Of course I love the horses,” she said. “They’re so beautiful, and so well-trained.”

The Northwestern Michigan Fair runs through Saturday and, as demonstrated by the Deschler family, the regional event offers something for everyone.

Mainstay events range from livestock shows and bingo to lawnmower races and tractor pulls. Other favorites like carnival food, rides and games are available at the fair every day.

First time fair-goer Sydney Chrenka, 4, won big at one of the fair’s game booths on Tuesday.

“This is a dolphin,” Chrenka said while holding up stuffed animal prize decorated with pink flames.

Chrenka won her dolphin by fishing three plastics sharks out of a small pool. After riding the spinning swings, she sat with her father Scott Chrenka and chowed down on a blue snow cone.

Scott Chrenka recently moved back to Traverse City, his hometown, from Chicago. He and his daughter both were having fun at the fair on Tuesday.

“It’s the same as I remember growing up,” he said. “We just got back from Chicago so this is a great way to spend an afternoon.”

But the Northwestern Michigan Fair isn’t all fun and games, especially for those readying animals or Thursday’s 4-H Livestock Auction, when hundreds of individuals and businesses will spend the day bidding on and buying livestock raised by local youths.

Kingsley High School students Nicole Seitz and Autum Demeter spent Tuesday morning scrubbing a dairy cow with soap and water while preparing for the afternoon dairy feeder show.

Still, Seitz said the cow cleaning was preferable to working at her summer job.

“The fair is the funnest thing of the whole summer,” she said.

The origin of the Northwestern Michigan Fair dates back to 1908. The fair’s attendance totals have grown every year over the last five years. That trend appears likely to continue this year, Northwestern Michigan Fair Council Vice President Scott Gray said.

Early week attendance numbers were record setting, and Gray hoped this year’s totals will reach 47,000. Last year the week-long event drew about 43,000 total guests.

A schedule detailing all of the fair’s events is available at northwesternmichiganfair.net.