STEPHENSON — New activities and old favorites will be offered at this year’s Menominee County Fair, which will run from July 18-21 at Shakey Lakes Park.

Every year, the Menominee County Fair Board tries to expand what it has to offer so it can bring in bigger crowds and to continue entertaining annual attendants. 

Fair Manager Eric Tickler said the fair has grown in attendance every year for the past three years, and he hopes to have even more people attend this year. 

“We’ve been growing at an average of about 40 to 50%. I am really hoping to get 3,000 attendants this year,” he said. This number only includes ticket sales and does not include attendants who won their tickets in contests or raffles. Tickler said if you included the total of attendants, including those who got their tickets for free, he hopes to see about 3,500.

To reach this goal, Tickler said the fair board brought in more entertainment options and expanded on some of the annual events.

One new event is The Jack Pine Lumberjack Show, which will be featured three different times on July 20. The company is based in Mackinaw City and has performed across Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula, Tickler said.

“They’re professional performers and they put on a great show,” Tickler said.  

Also new this year is a semi-professional wrestling show, which will be featured on Sunday, July 21. Tickler said there will be a ring set up and Under the Lights Wrestlers will put on three matches.

The annual tractor pull, which is the Menominee County Fair’s most popular event, has been expanded to include a semi-tractor pull this year. 

“The tractor pull is by the biggest event,” Ticker said. “On average it draws about 1,500 to 2,000 people every year.”

Another crowd favorite is the Craft Beer and Wine Tasting tent. This event showcases craft beer and locally-made wines from around the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin. This event was introduced at the 2018 Menominee County Fair and ended up being one of the most popular events.

“Last year, we kind of added this event to the schedule last minute and it was pretty small, but it turned out to be a big hit. This year, we planned it better because of how popular it was last year,” Tickler said. “When we do something for the first time you don’t want to go too big because you can’t be sure how popular it’s going to be, but now we know the beer and wine tasting tent is popular, so we can go bigger.”

The Craft Beer and Wine Tasking event costs an extra $35 and attendants must be at least 21 years old.

There will also be several events for kids, including a carnival with games and rides and a “Kids Tent” which will have several activities for children to do throughout the fair, free of charge. Some events hosted at the kids tent include rock painting, an “Amazing Race for Kids” and a youth fishing tournament.

Several singers and bands will also be performing throughout the weekend, including the Billy Shears Band and Neon Detour.

“I’m really excited to see this whole thing come together,” Tickler said. “I get paid a small amount as a the manager, but pretty much everyone else who have been working to put the fair together are working as volunteers. They’re not getting paid, they’re just hard-working people who love the fair and I’m excited to see their work payoff.”

A weekend wristband for the Menominee County Fair costs $5. Children 5 years and younger get in free.