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State officials honor Bowman for reviving Michigan State Fair
September 8, 2016

NOVI, MI - Blair Bowman, President of Novi’s Suburban Collection Showplace, was honored last week for saving the Michigan State Fair.

State Representative Kathy Crawford (R-Novi) presented Bowman with Michigan’s historic Great Seal at the State Fair’s opening ceremonies, in grateful recognition and appreciation of his courage, vision and passion to revitalize an important part of Michigan’s history and its bright future.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm effectively canceled the Michigan State Fair in 2009 when she ended a 160-year-old tradition that had been a summer draw at Woodward Avenue and Eight Mile Road since 1905. The fair had been running deficits and needed $360,000 from the state in 2008 to cover losses.

In 2012, Bowman stepped in to rejuvenate the popular event by attracting private sponsors to support the Labor Day activity.

“Michigan had been a state for only 12 years when the first Michigan State Fair was held in 1849, on a 20-acre site, on Woodward north of Grand Circus Park. It was the very first State Fair in the nation,” Crawford explained. “The Fair was a forum to highlight Michigan’s agriculture interests.”

Crawford stressed that promoting Michigan’s agriculture industry is one of reasons why the State Fair is so important to her southwest Oakland County district.

“I can assure you that one thing everyone in the Senate and the House …and on both sides of the aisle…agree on, is the importance of Michigan Farms and the commodities they produce,” Crawford said. “Michigan produces more than 300 commodities, making us the state with the second most diverse agriculture industry in the nation, just behind California. Agriculture contributes $101.2 billion annually to the state economy, employing more than 923,000 Michiganders.”

Crawford, whose serves as the Chairperson on the State Fair’s Senior Citizen’s Committee, was the driving force behind creating a Senior Citizens’ Day and Veterans’ Day at the Michigan State Fair. Seniors and Veterans received “free admission” on Thursday, September 1, the first day of the event.