Photo by Western Michigan Fairgrounds

Western Michigan Fair

August 5th-10th, 2024

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.

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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.

Ride wristbands are $30 Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday, and $25 on Wednesday (Kids Day). Pre-sale mega ride passes go on sale in July and can be purchased at tjschmidtcarnival.com.

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Here's the most updated schedule for 2024:

Days, times, and events listed below reflect the typical fair schedule from year to year, but may be subject to change. 

Monday, August 5th, 2024

  • 3pm – Sheep Show
  • 5pm – Goat Show
  • 5:30pm – Great Lakes Stakes Harness Racing, Grandstand (Free to the Public)
  • 6pm – Still Exhibit Judging (not open to public)

Tuesday, August 6th, 2024- Fair KickOff Day

Fair Entrance $5.00

  • 9am – Swine Show
  • 12pm – Exhibit Buildings Open
  • 12pm – Horse Show
  • 1pm – MI Bred Colt Stakes Harness Racing (Weather permitting)
  • 3-11pm – Midway Open
  • 7pm – West Michigan Tractor & Truck Pull,  Grandstand, $10/person
  • 10pm – Musical Fireworks, Grandstand (Free to the Public)

Wednesday, August 7th, 2024 - Kids/Discount Day

Fair Entrance $10.00 per person – 5 & under free. 

  • 8am – Horse Show
  • 10am – Beef Show
  • 12-5pm – Kids Day Midway
  • 1:30pm – Rabbit Show
  • 5pm – Bike & Backpack Giveaways
  • 5-11pm – Midway Open to All
  • 5:30pm – Crowning of Homemaker of the Year in front of Domestic Arts Building
  • 6pm – Mini Wedge Racing, Grandstand, $5/person
  • 7:30pm – TNT Barrel Racing, Grandstand, $5/person

Thursday, August 8th, 2024 - Hometown Hero's Day

Fair Entrance $5 per person – 5 & under free. All Veterans and Senior Citizens admitted free. Shuttle service from parking lot will be available.

  • 9am – Poultry Show
  • 10am – Dairy Show
  • 12-2pm – Special Kid’s Day (by invitation only thru the ESD)
  • 3-11pm – Midway Open
  • 3-11pm – Read for Rides (Kids who qualified through Library Program)
  • 7pm – Super Kicker Rodeo, Grandstand, $10/person

Friday, August 9th, 2024 - Fantastic Friday

Fair Entrance $5 per person – 5 & under free

  • 10am – Fun Equestrian Games
  • 12pm – Exhibit Buildings Open
  • 3-11pm – Midway Open
  • 5pm – Cooper Family Pedal Pull (free for kids), Show/Sale Barn
  • 7pm – SJO Supercross, Grandstand, $10/Person, $15/Pits

Saturday, August 10th, 2024 - Fair Finale

Fair Entrance $5 per person – 5 & under free

  • 8am – WMFA Barnyard Boogie 5K Fun Run/Walk
  • 9am – Barn Brawl Wrestling Tournament
  • 11am – West Michigan Livestock Council Animal Auction, Show/Sale Barn
  • 12-11pm – Midway Open
  • 6pm – TNT presents the Mid-Season Championship Demolition Derby, Grandstand, $15/person, $25/Pits

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.

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

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