For those who ended up not being able to make it out to the Upper Peninsula State Fair in Escanaba – you all missed out on a ton of fun!
The support of the community, lively entertainment, and exceptional vendors, sponsors and exhibitors all contributed in making this year’s State Fair a record turnout. Over 90,000 people came out from across the U.P. to enjoy what makes our neck of the woods so special!
While I had an awesome time meeting people, visiting the livestock barns and celebrating this year’s U.P. Veteran of the Year, having the honor of presenting the Fair Authority with $500,000 for the new Upper Peninsula Veterans Museum and Visitor Center was the highlight of the week.
The facility is being built right here on the Upper Peninsula Fairgrounds, and will honor our military heroes, culture and history. I put in a lot of time and energy in Lansing during the budget-planning process to make sure this money was secured.
This project would not have been possible if it weren’t for the late, honorable couple, John and Melissa Besse, and their foundation’s generous $1 million gift for the construction of the building. Also, a special thanks to Gov. Rick Snyder for not only approving the state’s contribution to the museum, but for attending the U.P. State Fair for an eighth consecutive year to show his love and support for our local communities.
There’s no denying the enormous impact the annual Upper Peninsula State Fair brings to our area’s economy over the week it’s held. Tourists from the Lower Peninsula and out-of-staters book our hotels, dine at our restaurants and bars, go on our renowned excursions and purchase our homegrown products. All the while, it’s important to note our communities boast these tremendous offerings year-round.
Following its completion, the U.P. Veterans Museum and Visitor Center will be yet another landmark and attraction to lure visitors from all across the state. I cannot wait to see what it provides to our area, and I hope our communities will appreciate what it has to offer to our military veterans, state history and local economy.
Substantial things are happening in Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties and the rest of the U.P. Since having the honor of being your voice in Lansing, I am doing my due diligence to ensure Yoopers are receiving adequate representation on all state matters. While I may be our voice – make no mistake – we are all in this together when it comes to doing our hometown proud. Next year’s U.P. State Fair cannot come soon enough!
State Rep. Beau LaFave is a first-term lawmaker representing the 108th House District. The 108th District encompasses Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties.