Prices, Times Announced for Great Lakes State Fair

More details have been revealed about the new Michigan State Fair at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi this Labor Day weekend.

Plans for Great Lakes State Fair coming to Novi this summer are moving forward with steam.

Blair Bowman, owner of , has been working with the Great Lakes Agricultural Fair board, a 501(c)3 organization, to this summer at his venue. He and several of the organizers gave more details about the event, including ticket prices, parking and the events schedule, at a press conference Wednesday morning.

The event has also nabbed a Pure Michigan designation, meaning the state will help market the fair — although it currently is not providing any financial support.

Kent Roberts, vice president of the Great Lakes Agricultural Fair board, said the group has been working to fill the void left when the fair ended in 2009 after the government pulled its funding.

"We're not really trying to duplicate the old state fair, we're trying to put together a 21st Century version," Roberts said.

He said the fair will focus on showcasing Michigan's agricultural industry and heritage and giving residents the opportunity to learn more about them.

The fair will include horses, cattle, goats, pigs, sheep, rabbits and chickens inside the Showplace along with the agricultural exhibits. A midway, beer garden, entertainment stage and circus will be outdoors.

Entertainment is still being planned and will be announced within four to six weeks on the State Fair website. The group is still putting out feelers and working on contracts.

Novi Mayor Bob Gatt publicly made an open request to Kid Rock at the press conference, challenging him to make an appearance.

"If he's listening or his folks are listening, for this even to be successful we could certainly use him. Show up for one day or show up for one hour — just be part of this. That's my challenge," Gatt said.

Admission cost

Bowman said they are trying to make the fair an affordable family event.

A one-day inclusive ticket bought in advance will cost $25, which includes access to agricultural and livestock exhibits, the vendor area, entertainment tent and beer garden, plus unlimited carnival rides and one showing of the circus. Parking will cost $5.

Profits from the Great Lakes State Fair will mostly go back to the Great Lakes Agricultural Fair board to use for future fairs.

"It's our hope that as this evolves and grows, that this will feed right back into the industry," said Roberts.

Here is a full list of ticket prices:

Tickets bought in advance (beginning July 1 at GreatLakesStateFair.org):

  • $25 for adults and children 12 and older
  • $20 for children 2-12

Tickets at the gate:

  • $30 for adults and children 12 and older
  • $25 for children 2-12

Tickets for just livestock, indoor exhibits and entertainment in advance:

  • $6 for adults and children 12 and older
  • $5 for children 2-12

Tickets for just livestock, indoor exhibits and entertainment at the gate:

  • $8 for adults and children 12 and older
  • $6 for children 2-12

There is no charge for children 2 and younger.

Space, crowd accommodations

Bowman said the Showplace could accommodate hundreds of thousands of people over four days, but expects this year's fair will draw 10,000-15,000 people per day.

Approximately 220,000 square feet of indoor space will be used for the fair, plus another seven acres outside. Including parking, the fair will cover a total of approximately 85 acres.

Gatt said the Showplace can handle anything and that it is the perfect venue for something like this. He said it has been tested with large events in the past.

If the new fair grows to become a huge event, Bowman said that he would be supportive of it moving to a larger venue in the future if necessary.

"I don't want it to start here and then go someplace else, but if it needs to go to a more traditional fairgrounds, then great. But I think we can not only start here, but I think we can help grow it here and stabilize it for the long-term," Bowman said.

Roberts told Novi Patch that although some people might be disappointed that the fair is no longer in Detroit, he is happy that they could keep the event in Southeast Michigan.

Although some residents have expressed concerns about hosting animals in the Showplace, Jackie Scramlin of the Great Lakes Agricultural Fair Board said she has taken animals to other indoor shows, and that protective covering will be put down in the Showplace to ensure the safety of the animals. Manure will not be a problem, she said, and they are looking into having it go to compost.

Parking & Transportation

More than 2,000 parking spaces will be available for parking at the Showplace, plus another 1,500 next door, Bowman said. Shuttle lots are also available if necessary.

Parking costs $5 per vehicle.

The fair currently does not have any public transportation set up to shuttle residents from the Detroit area to Novi, although Roberts and Bowman said they are open to it if any business or organization would like to partner with them.

Event Schedule*

Livestock Exhibits

  • Friday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Monday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Agriculture and Indoor Vendor Area

  • Friday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Entertainment Tent, Outdoor Vendors and Beer Garden

  • Friday-Sunday 11 a.m. to midnight
  • Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


  • Friday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Detroit Shrine Circus Performance Times (Daily)

  • Noon
  • 2:30 p.m.
  • 5 p.m.
  • 7:30 p.m. (Friday-Sunday only)

*All times subject to change

mel May 30, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Where can one sign up to enter jam, pickles, baked goods, etc...? Thanks.
Darren Whittaker May 31, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Wow. Thirty bucks to get in (you wouldn't catch me on those death-trap rides) and $5 just to park your car? No where else to park, and "no plans" for shuttles. No historic buildings or landmarks? Smells like "rip-off" to me...
Eric Vogel May 31, 2012 at 02:58 AM
It is $6 without the rides and circus. Besides circuses, despite what they say is inhumane. so just spend $6 plus $5 for parking and it isnt that bad. Besides if they use Wade Shows for the rides, then you ar keeping yourself safe from the ride operators that could care less about your safety. I wrote a complaint letter about 2 of them and never heard back from them. Then again, the lease safe rides are the portable ones right?
mary sharpe August 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM
i think spending 30$ a day for your kid to have fun and enjoy themselves,or 8-6 $ if you prefer not to ride,and it's getting back to the old days of enjoying our kids instead of pushing them off and making it a drinkfest week-end for the adults,do you know mich.is one of the few states that don't have a state fair,and that brings less help for all of our busniesses around,look what detroit area lost,and we all know they didn't need to lose that money,but glad to hear novi will be bringing back some money back to the area,which is gonna provide jobs(if only for a few days) for those who have nothihg,or little,it's about fetting out and releasing all this stress that is built up on us parents,because how many of us would love to take our kids to cedar point,kings island,disney land,disney world,think of those prices,if only for a few days let all of us reach for happiness!!!!!!! storm putting storm clouds out,where there can be peeks of sunshine <3<3<3<3
mary sharpe August 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM
sorry for mistakes on last reply,i ment loose instead of lose,and nothing not nothihg.,getting instead of fetting and STOP for the first storm,get the picture


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