The Great Lakes State Fair opened Friday morning, for its inaugural showing at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The event continues today and throughout the holiday weekend.
Michigan had the very first state fair in the nation in 1849, but there hasn't been a fair here since 2009, when it was last held in Detroit.
In addition to traditional state fair activities, such as competitions for best animals, vegetables and canned goods, the fair includes performances by the Shrine Circus and several local bands, a midway with carnival rides, games of chance and fair treats like elephant ears, corn dogs and cotton candy and a shopping area with products from Michigan-based vendors.
Every day throughout the weekend, there are fun competitions such as hot dog and pie eating contests, watermelon seed spitting contests and more.
Andrew Marsh of Livonia won the first such event of the day Friday, packing in the hot dogs faster than any of his competitors.
Marsh said, "I've eaten like this at home, but this time I wasn't even hungry. I just ate fast anyway. I might enter the pie eating contest, too!"
There is also some community activism going on at the fair.
A group called ICARE II is collecting signatures from participants at the fair for a petition they plan to send to Gov. Rick Snyder, urging him to stop the sell-off of the original Michigan State Fairgrounds at 8 Mile and Woodward in Detroit.
The fair is open 8 a.m. to midnight today through Sunday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.
If you go, post your pictures here by clicking the upload button above and tell us in comments what you think of the event.
about the schedule, parking, entrance fees and a map of the venue can be found on novi.patch.com.