Great Lakes State Fair board vice president Kent Roberts was a pretty happy guy Monday afternoon.
As one of the partners who went "out on a ventured limb" to bring a "21st century version" of the Michigan state fair to the in Novi, Roberts said organizers are "extremely pleased with what's happened in the last four days." He said while Friday's heat kept attendance down, around 20,000 people showed up over the next two days, which "far exceeded our hopes and wishes for our first year."
"We were a little concerned after that first day," he said. "But Saturday and Sunday couldn't have been nicer or better."
The event has been a partnership among the fair board, the Shriners, who brought in a circus and a cadre of volunteers, and the Suburban Collection, Roberts said. The goal was not to replicate the Michigan State Fair, which folded after 2009, but to bring something new to the table, while shining a spotlight on Michigan's second leading industry, agriculture and commodities.
"To see these people light up, to see these people be able to have a venue ... to showcase what it is they do, to me has been extremely exciting," he said. "I think it's the faces of the people who have made a living off of Michigan commodities and agriculture, to me, that's what warms my heart."
The fair closed Monday.
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