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Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring is Here! April 2016

It seems rather odd to be thinking Fair when we just had snow, IN APRIL!  Spring flowers do not usually enjoy cold and snow.  I sure hope that they still show their beauty soon.

Winter storage is completed, and the fine people who utilize our facilities to store their summer toys, had the unfortunate circumstances to retrieve their cars, boats, RV's and such, in the snowy conditions this last weekend. With events starting as soon as this coming Saturday, we did not have the choice to put it off.

Speaking of events, we have a very busy season ahead of us!  Beginning this Saturday, April 16, 2016, will be the 4-H equestrian members first Levels testing from 1-4 pm in the livestock arena.    On April 23rd they will be back for another testing day.
Also on April 23rd; Grand Equestrians is holding their annual Scrap Metal Drive.  This program is a magnificent program.  It is the Therapeutic Riding Program through the Livingston County 4-H.  The Grand Equestrians is a self funded group with all volunteers.  This group holds fundraisers to be able to continue this program.  If you have any scrap metal lying around that you do not really want to take to the recycle yourself, please consider donating to the Grand Equestrians.

The Fowlerville Fairgrounds has many events coming up.  April 30 and May 1, 2016 is the VMCCADC Auto Swap Meet.  This group has been holding their event here for many years.  This is a great day to get out and shake off that cabin fever and find that one part you spent your winter looking on Ebay for.  If you need it, I bet you it is here.  If not, these guys can help you find it!  Food concessions are on grounds for your convenience.

THEN for the ladies make sure you join us for the Thrifter Sisters Flea Market! This is May 13-15, 2016. Every event the Miss Rene has is loads of fun, and has a little bit of everything.  Not only vintage, there is crafts, and re-done items.  Don't forget to visit the campgrounds while you are here.  We will have the largest showcase of Vintage Campers yet!

Please remember to visit to keep updated on all the events we have coming.

Most importantly, mark your calendars for July 25-30, 2016 to Find Your Happy at the
 130th Fowlerville Family Fair.

We'll See You There!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Find Your Happy!

Did you come out this year to Find Your Happy? Take a look at this video we made to celebrate the amazing week we had!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Do you have what it takes...

To be the Fowlerville Family Fair's Homemaker of the Year? We bet you do!

What does it take to enter this competition? You just have to be a Livingston County resident 18 years of age or older who takes care of a home. It doesn't matter if you're a stay-at-home parent, you have a full-time job, or something in between. As long as you mange a home, you're qualified.

This competition has been dominated by women in the past, but men are encouraged to enter as well! Two years ago, we had our first male entry for Homemaker of the Year. So don't be shy, take a chance to enter!

2012 Homemaker of the Year contestants, including our first male contestant
and honorary "King for a Day"

What do you have to do to enter? Start by entering Open Class, which was explained in this blog post. You have to enter in 5 or more different categories in home arts - this includes needle arts, baking, canning, horticulture, floriculture, fine arts, and more! Those forms are due July 1. There is also an additional application which is due by July 11. After that, there is an interview process and judging to determine the winner. Check out the Homemaker of the Year page for more details.

2013 Fowlerville Family Fair Homemaker of the Year Teri Best
What do you get if you win? A nice crown, and some more fabulous prizes! Plus, you have the chance to compete in the Michigan State Homemaker of the Year competition, which will be at our fair this year and the next year.

So, get out there, enter the competition, and get your projects ready!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fair Days in a Modern Age

May 1st is a big day in our world. It is truly the beginning of fair season. 4-H animal exhibitors have forms to turn in, the Superintendents disclose assigned Judges, camping registration begins for fair week, and entry forms are available. On the public side of things,  applications are accepted for fair week employment, and advanced sale ride vouchers are available online. We are on the underside of 90 days before the start of the 128th Fowlerville Family Fair.

With the change of times come the expansion of technology. Advancement in the fair world technologies has increase tremendously in the last few years. It is now common for county and state fairs alike to operate through the web. Websites are a norm, social media is the number one advertising tool, and blogging keeps you well informed. Many of us accept credit cards as payment, and using online sales for several items.

Fair office

 New to Fowlerville Family Fair in 2014 is the availability to enter both Open Class and 4-H through an online system. This system will allow the exhibitor to type in the exact class they wish to enter. On the fair side the entries automatically merge into our system and allows the fair to save money and time by not having to type every entry individually. With this gives the opportunity for an office employee to be redirected and assist in other important aspects of the preparations before fair.

Open Class Entries

Being on a smaller scale with limited budgets, the Fowlerville Family Fair moves slower than most when it comes to technological advances because of the costs in keeping up with the times. It is the hopes of the Board of Directors to add electronic payment systems to the gates within the next few years. We also are working toward an electronic judging system and digital entry books in the near future. This will allow for employees not be bogged down with tedious and designated work loads. We feel the future of the fair can then expand and truly become a competitive venue for a family destination.

For now please bear with us as we attempt to move into a new age of the fair world. Some of us have been around long enough to have had a pencil and paper to keep tract of accounting and record keeping with handwritten checks. This is all new to us, and learning as we ago along.

Max Bessert approx. 1990

Friday, April 25, 2014

What is Open Class???

Do have a talent that you may never have considered a talent?  Do you can the vegetables and fruit from your garden? Do you bake your Great Aunt Florence's Upside Down Pineapple Cake for every Holiday and the attendees rave every time? Do you draw, paint, or write for a fun past time? How about sew, crochet, knit, or scrapbook?  All of these plus so much more can be entered into the Fowlerville Family Fair under "Open Class".  In Open Class you do not have to be a part of any club, group or organization. Even if you are, individualization is key in Open Class from youth to adult.

Open class entries are available for Youth and Adults.  If you are 65 years of age and over, age has it's benefits at the Fair! Because of your achievement in years you are now eligible for a FREE entry. Everyone under 65 years old, you will one day have your added benefit, for now, the fee is $10 for up to 25 entries! Yes 25 different crafts, foods, vegetables, and so much more. For $10.00 you will not only receive the luxury of showing off your hard work, you will also receive a week long gate admission pass to the fair. Everyone receives this pass regardless of age.

How do you enter you ask? I will tell you!  The first week of May stop into the Fair Office or one of the several business listed at the end of this post to pick up an entry book. Thumb through the available classes fill out the form in the back of the book and turn into the fair office with payment where applicable. New this year, on line entries! Enter all classes and pay fees via the link on our web site.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call us. We will walk you through it! The fair office also has designated computers set up in the office for those that do not have the access to Internet for on line entries. Non-animal (Home Arts) entry forms are due July 1st. Projects to be turned in July 17th for judging.

Open Class also has livestock classes for Dairy Cattle, Beef Cattle, and Sheep. Entry fees for those are more complex. There is still the $10 entry fee although a per head fee and stall fee are in addition. A complete list of rules and pricing can be found on the Fair's website or in the Entry Book.

Bragging rights between farmers is what created fairs to begin with. Why not keep the tradition alive and enter into the fair your works of wonder? Your very own Bragging Rights to your friends and family about the Blue Ribbons and premium check you received!  Oh did I forget to mention the premium check??? That is right, we pay you for every ribbon you receive! Can you believe it? Awards and money! Why wait until next year? Enter now for your chance in the Best of Show showcase!

Open Class Books Available
 at following sponsor's locations after the first week of May:
Midtown Service: Fowlerville
The Roost: Howell
State Farm: Fowlerville
Harmon Real Estate: Fowlerville
Fowlerville Family Fair
Livingston County 4-H Extension Office: Howell


Monday, April 21, 2014

Working Along With Always Something to Do.

Diligently trudging along, all with the same common goal... FAIR WEEK. Some have inside paper work, some have grounds work, and building repair, some feeding animals, some working on projects of sorts, sewing, gluing, knitting, painting...

With the ever continuing chilled weather it is difficult to keep summer on mind. It makes it seem further away than it really is. With only a mere 91 days left until the opening of the 128th annual Fowlerville Family Fair, some are starting to feel the pressure. Some of us do not even have that many days to prepare as the work must be completed long before the start.
There are some aspects that are coming together nicely, and others, well... the fair will happen whether we are ready or not.

The new and improved website is up and running now. There are a few things left to fix, and add, but all in all we are happy with this change. Thank you to a wonderful "Friend of the Fair" for completing this for us in such a stressful time. While visiting the website, make sure you sign up for our email update list.

A few events happening at the grounds:

April 26th, Saturday the Grand Equestrian 4-H Therapeutic Riders Program will be holding a Scrap Metal Drive. This fundraiser has been a huge success in the past and will allow the TRP to continue the program for special need youth in Livingston County. The scrap metal drop off is at the Fairgrounds on Saturday April 26th from 10:00am - 3:00pm. Bring old scrap metal (anything large or small) to DONATE for recycling. Please NO refrigerators, freezers, or air conditioners.  If you have any questions, please call Dortha Bugard 517-521-3570.

April 27th, Sunday LCRC is hosting a Radio Controlled Swap Meet. Anything RC operated will be available, along with parts and pieces. Anyone is welcome to shop or watch demonstrations. The Swap is open 9:00am - 2:00pm. Spaces to rent are still available. There is a $5 gate fee 15 and under are free and Military & Veterans are free with identification.

May 3-4 VMCCA Auto Swap Meet. Vendors fill the grounds with wonderful treasures.

May 15 Farm Bureau Ag Awareness Day.  1000 3rd grade students from around Livingston County travel to the fairgrounds for a day long Agricultural Education.

May 17 4-H Indoor/Outdoor Garage Sale.  Tables can be rented for $25 and is open to the public with free admission.  The $25 fee is a 4-H fundraiser.

May 31 - Wal-Mart of Fowlerville Community Event with all proceeds to benefit the Children's Miracle Network. 2pm-5pm a wonderful Family Event!

Please feel free to contact the fair office for more information. 517-223-8186 or


Thursday, April 10, 2014

What you probably never knew...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

   We receive the same questions regarding the operations of the fairgrounds and how operation funds are received, on a regular basis. Without proper information, rumors begin, and before long the misinformation causes ill feelings. The Fowlerville Family Fair strives to create great feelings and build wonderful relationships within the community. We are YOUR fair.


     The Fowlerville Family Fair is operated under the direction of the Fowlerville Agricultural Society Board of Directors. The Board of Directors are elected through the general membership at the annual meeting held in the first week of November. General membership is open to any Michigan resident willing to pay $25.00 for a three year period. The Board of Directors serve a three year term without term limitations and are a group of 15 with an added position from the Livingston County 4-H that serves as a liaison and receives full voting rights. Executive Board positions are an annual term with no term limits. The Board of Directors operated under Articles of Association and has Bylaws in place.
      In Michigan there is two different kinds of fairs. One is a Michigan Act 11 of 1929 Fair. An act 11 fair is a one that operates under the direction of the county in which it is located and often times a line item is set in the county's budget to assist in operations of the fairgrounds, both off season and for fair. The fairgrounds under Act 11 is owned by the county.

     The other kind of fair is the Michigan Act 80 of 1855 Fair. This is a Agricultural or Horticultural Society that usually operates as a not for profit organization. Most often there is not county or local funds that support the fair and grounds. The fairgrounds are either owned by the society or the society rents the grounds to hold the fair. The Fowlerville Family Fair is an Act 80 of 1855 Fair, and owns the fairgrounds. In 2009 the State chose to discontinue funding for all fairs in Michigan. Most of the 88 fairs in Michigan are like the Fowlerville Family Fair and operate solely on earned income. Earned income can come from renting the facility, sponsorships/donations, fair admission and winter storage.  In 2012 the State voted to place a line item into the budget for fairs, although it is done as a competitive grant for matching funds to be utilized as capital improvements to the grounds and must benefit the community in some way.

     Not all fairs are 4-H and FFA associated. After the loss of premium monies from the state in 2009 many chose to go with an Open Fair where association to either organization was not required. Fowlerville chose to maintain their relationship with the Livingston County 4-H. With this decision the costs of having 4-H on grounds increased but the hand off is educating the youth of the county in Agriculture and Home Arts.

    What we do on an annual basis is for the community. The majority of operations are completed by volunteers whom give hundreds of hours on an annual basis and truly have the fair in their best interest.

With this week being National Volunteer Appreciation Week, 
YOU make this all possible, and are irreplaceable.

Ladies Day 2012 - National Anthem Observance
Check back soon. Great things to come!
Find Your Happy in 101 Days!