ESCANABA - The Upper Peninsula State Fair kicked off Monday night and with its arrival comes many fun attractions, activities, and events that attract fairgoers of all ages, both locally and from out of town.
Carney native Kathy Considine, who now resides in Lake in the Hills, Ill., was visiting Ludington Park Monday with her six children and said the whole family tries to make it up to the U.P. State Fair every year to see the animals, go on rides, and have a good time.
"I love the 4-H exhibits," she said. "As a child, I did them, so they're one of my favorite things to go back and see kids doing. The ferris wheel is always a good ride for the whole family to go on and then going into the exhibit buildings. Sayklly's is a candy company I grew up with as a kid, so seeing their exhibit, going to see how they make taffy, for the kids - it's always fun for them."
And, as many young kids do, Considine's children expressed an interest in going on carnival rides like the Tilt-A-Whirl and Pirate Ship, as well as seeing the animals at the petting zoo.
Paige Isaacson and Lauren Barkell, of Dollar Bay, plan to visit the U.P. State Fair for their first time this year, and look forward to going on fair rides like the ferris wheel, the Zipper, and the Scrambler. However, they also enjoy eating the fair food, as does Isaacson's mother Suzanne Hebner, who is new to the Escanaba area.
"I like the lemonade stand and I'd like to try the Norm's Fries," she said. "Everyone in town says I have to go get that. I haven't been to the fair since I was 16, so it's been years ago; it's been many years, so we'll see how it's changed."
And though Hebner said she doesn't like to go on the carnival rides, she is a fan of seeing all the barn animals on display.
So, too, is Amy Kott of Wilson.
"I like to walk around and see the exhibits and the animals - the horses especially," said Kott.
Chris Kott, also of Wilson, said he really enjoys all the fair food, and that as a country music fan he is interested to see the Craig Morgan concert Wednesday as part of the fair's grandstand entertainment.
Maddy Theut and Billy Baribeau, of Escanaba, are heading to the fair together on Thursday. Their favorite part?
"Mostly the rides and the food and hanging out with friends too," said Baribeau, who noted his favorite fair food item is elephant ears.
Fair week continues today with Thrivent Day in the activities tent, a private, invitation-only event for the Central Upper Peninsula Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Tonight's grandstand entertainment is Brew City Wrestling, which begins at 7 p.m.
For a full list of fair events or for more fair-related information, visit www.upstatefair.org.