MARION — The Marion Fair is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and the week-long celebration will help solidify why the event has been successful for so long.
"People come and support us, they want to see the fair," said Marion Fair Board Member Rebecca McCrimmon, who grew up attending the fair each year. "I'm excited about it all. We hope we're here another 75 years."
McCrimmon said board members and fair volunteers put their heart and soul into the event every year, trying to make it the best it can be for local and visiting attendees.
The fair kicks off on Sunday, June 22, with a free gospel concert featuring The Calvary Men at 7 p.m. A free-will offering will be taken during the show. Following the performance, a strawberry shortcake social will take place.
The entire week brings family-friendly entertainment. Monday will feature a garden tractor pull. Tuesday hosts a farm stock tractor pull. Wednesday attendees can enjoy a draft horse show and pull. Thursday gives grandstand attendees an opportunity to tap their feet to the beat of Petoskey's Steel Drum Band and enjoy an off-road derby. Friday is the date of the Figure 8 derby, and Saturday hosts the antique tractor show and rodeo.
The Marion Fair would not be the same without the 4-H children and teens. Throughout the week, 4-H members will be showcasing their exhibits and animals to a number of judges.
Marion Fair Board member Barb Hazlett said the children are the most important part of the fair every year.
"It's the 75th year of the fair and it's a diamond anniversary," she said. "We wanted our theme to be 'diamonds are forever and so are our kids.' 4-H is the main reason for the fair and those children work so hard. To make them happy is the board's goal."
Thursday, June 26, is Kids Day. Events including games and contests, a Pinewood Derby, which is new this year, free hot dogs and soda, free I.D. cards and a scavenger hunt will be offered especially for children.
Rides and amusements on the midway are a staple at any fair, and this year Schmidt Amusements will provide both suitable for all ages. Armbands providing unlimited rides will be sold each day for $15, though individual ride tickets also are available for fair goers who may only want to enjoy a few rides.
For more information or a full schedule of events, visit marionfair.com or find Marion Fair on Facebook.