Photo by Western Michigan Fairgrounds

Western Michigan Fair

August, 2023

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Smaller towns set themselves apart from big cities by local events that involve the community. No where is that more prevalent than here when Ludington hosts the Western Michigan Fair.

The Western Michigan Fair is where you see your friends and neighbors, celebrate the waning days of summer, and appreciate good family values. The big cities may have the advantage over us in certain things, but nothing beats the feeling you get living in a cozy, friendly town with annual events like the Western Michigan Fair.

With the exception of WWII, the fair has been held every year since 1936 at the Mason County Fairgrounds on US-10 in Ludington. The fair was modified in 2020 due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. The fair features the midway, demolition derby, harness horse racing, entertainment, still exhibits, grandstand events, and carnival rides. But the real attraction of the fair is the 4-H exhibits and animals. Area youngsters who have worked hard the past year raising their sheep, chickens, cows, and rabbits proudly wait for the judge’s ribbon. Equestrians get their chance to showcase their horses, and homemakers busily prepare their pies and other homemade goodies for judging.

Fair entrance is $2 on Tuesday and $4 per person, with children 5 and under entering free the rest of the week. Ride wristbands are $30 Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday, and $25 on Wednesday (Kids Day). In July, purchase a pre-sale mega ride pass for $70 for unlimited rides all week!

Greiner Motel

Typical Pre-Fair Schedule (No Midway)

Sunday

Fair Kick Off Event- 6pm

Monday

  • 9am – Horse Show
  • 3pm – Sheep Show
  • 5pm – Still Exhibit Judging (not open to public)
  • 5pm – Goat Show
  • 6pm – Harness Racing

Typical Fair Schedule

Tuesday

  • 9am – Swine Show
  • 12pm – Harness Racing (Weather permitting)
  • 5pm – Gates Open
  • 5pm – West Shore Bank Buck Night
  • 7pm – Truck & Tractor Pull,  Grandstand, $10/person
  • 10pm – Musical Fireworks, Grandstand (Free to the Public)
  • 11pm – Midway Closes

Wednesday- Kid’s Day

  • 10am– Beef Show
  • 1pm – Harness Racing (Weather permitting)
  • 3pm – Rabbit Show
  • 5pm – Bike & Backpack Giveaways
  • 5:30pm – Crowning of Homemaker of the Year
  • 7pm – Mini Wedge Racing, Grandstand
  • 11pm – Midway Closes

Thursday- Hero’s Celebration Day

(Seniors & Veterans Free, Shuttle Service Available)

  • 9am – Poultry Show
  • 10am – Dairy Show
  • 12-2pm – Special Kid’s Day (by invitation only thru the ESD)
  • 3-11pm – Read for Rides (Kids who qualified through Library Program)
  • 7pm – TNT Vehicle Barrel Racing, Grandstand $10, Pits $20
  • 11pm – Midway Closes

Friday- Fantastic Friday

  • 10am – Horse Fun Games
  • 5pm – Pedal Pull (free for kids, Show/Sale Barn
  • 7pm – SJO Supercross, Grandstand, $13/person
  • 11pm – Midway Closes

Saturday- Fair Finale

  • 8:30am – WMFA Barnyard Boogie 5K Fun Run/Walk
  • 9am – Barn Brawl Wrestling Tournament
  • 10amWestern Michigan Old Engine Club Garden Tractor Pull
  • 11am – West Michigan Livestock Council Animal Auction, Show/Sale Barn
  • 3pm – Farm Bureau Hay Bale Toss Contest
  • 6pm – Unique Motor Sports Demolition Derby, Grandstand $15, Pit $20
  • 11pm – Midway Closes

Other events: Chase’s Racing Pigs with shows Thursday-Saturday and the Stilt Walking Balloon Man will be on the grounds throughout the fair.

About the Mason County Fairgrounds

Think the fairgrounds are just for the fair? Not here in Ludington! The Mason County Fairgrounds gets plenty of use in the summertime, one of our favorite seasons here along the lakeshore. The 185-acre site where the fairgrounds and airport are now located was farmland purchased in 1935 from Charles G. Wing. The first fair in Mason County was held in 1936, and the fair has been held each year with the exception of during WWII.

The fairgrounds have undergone a facelift in 2013-2014, with $672,000 in improvements. They include:

  • Installation of a drainage system
  • Installation of gutters on animal barns
  • A new nature trail in the wooded area east of the fairgrounds
  • Road paving from the commercial buildings to the north side of the fairgrounds and east to Meyers Road
  • Road paving in the camping area
  • Making the buildings accessible for people with disabilities
  • Moving the entrance north of the current site and widening it to reduce congestion

The fairgrounds are busy throughout the summer with various horse shows, including 4-H Youth, Quarterhorse shows and the AQHA/MQHA. In September, the Mason County Fairgrounds hosts the MIHA District IX Equestrian Meet. Almost every summer weekend, there’s an open air flea market at the fairgrounds, where you’ll find everything from books to furniture to tools. It’s a great place to browse and find those unique treasures.

Western Michigan Fair Contact Info

 
For more information on the Western Michigan Fair, please contact the event organizer:

Western Michigan Fair Association

5302 W. US-10, Ludington, MI 49431

231-843-8563

masoncountyfairgrounds.com