The Michigan State Fair needs your help. The nations oldest state fair and one of Michigan's most treasured traditions is in danger of being “blown away”. Established in 1849, the Michigan State Fair was over 160 years old when an ill considered decision was made to stop holding the annual state fair.

The purported reason was that Michigan could not afford to cover any financial losses of the fair and that the State should focus on creating jobs and helping the economy. That reason does not seem to be rational considering that the annual cost of closing and maintaining an unused fairgrounds is much greater than the average accounting losses in recent years. In addition, discontinuing the Michigan State Fair and closing the fairgrounds only contributes to job loss and further erodes the economy of Southeast Michigan.

Regardless of the stated reasons for discontinuing the fair, the State of Michigan has a law that REQUIRES that the State conduct the annual Michigan State Fair. Please contact your State elected officials and let them know that you are concerned about the possible loss of a Michigan treasure as well as being concerned about elected officials in the executive branch who refuse to carry out their sworn duties.

Contact your State Senator

Contact your State Representative

If you would like to let the Governor know how you feel, you can drop her a note or give her a call at (517) 373-3400.

Act 361 of 1978

285.166 Powers and duties of authority.

Sec. 6.

(1) The authority shall do all of the following:

(a) Conduct an annual state fair and other exhibits or events for the purpose of promoting all phases of the economy of this state. This fair and the exhibits or events shall encourage and demonstrate agricultural, industrial, commercial, educational, entertainment, tourism, technological, cultural, and recreational pursuits.

(b) Lease the state exposition and fairgrounds, a portion of the state exposition and fairgrounds, or a building on the state exposition and fairgrounds for purposes considered by the authority to be consistent with the staging of the state fair and other exhibits or events. The authority may determine and impose rental charges and other fees for the use or lease of the buildings and grounds or a portion of the buildings and grounds. The authority may lease properties to private and public organizations for a period not to exceed 30 years for consideration established by the authority. The authority may grant leases for all or a portion of the state exposition and fairgrounds to private and public organizations, conditional upon construction and improvements according to plans approved by the authority to be financed by the lessees, for terms not to exceed 30 years. The authority may grant an extension of the lease term for not more than an additional 20 years. The use of the state exposition and fairgrounds, a portion of the state exposition and fairgrounds, or a building on the state exposition and fairgrounds shall not interfere with the preparation for or holding of the state fair and other exhibits or events. Land, a building, or other property that is leased under this subdivision to a for-profit business shall be leased at fair market value. All leases and contracts entered into under this act remain valid until the expiration of the term of the lease or contract.

(c) Enter into contracts, subject to the requirements of the management and budget act, 1984 PA 431, MCL 18.1101 to 18.1594, to conduct the annual state fair, exhibits, or other events, at the state exposition and fairgrounds that enhance agricultural, industrial, commercial, recreational, educational, entertainment, tourism, technological, or cultural pursuits or government services to citizens.

(2) The authority may enter into cooperative agreements, contracts, or other agreements with 1 or more governmental entities to use the personnel, services, or facilities of the governmental entity to assist the authority with carrying out its duties under this act and as otherwise provided by law.

History: 1978, Act 361, Imd. Eff. July 22, 1978 ;-- Am. 2000, Act 39, Imd. Eff. Mar. 24, 2000 ;-- Am. 2004, Act 468, Eff. Mar. 1, 2005