MENOMINEE — In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the regulations imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to prevent the virus’ spread throughout the state of Michigan, the ability to proceed with many annual summer events is not known.

One such event is the Upper Peninsula State Fair, which is held in Escanaba every August. State Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, is currently working with the U.P. State Fair Authority to create a risk mitigation plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure fair goers’ health, and to request that Whitmer approve the hosting of the fair as scheduled this summer.

Tuesday, the Menominee County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution supporting this effort.

The Resolution 2020-21 states that Menominee County supports the U.P. State Fair as an event that not only allows people to “celebrate the unique culture and heritage of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula” but also has a positive regional impact.

Vickie Macheau, with the U.P. State Fair Authority, attended the meeting remotely to explain the issue to commissioners prior to their vote. 

She explained the fair authority had been working “for quite some time” with local public health, safety and government officials to create the plan with its insurance company. “We’ve worked through the entire plan, where we’re at right now, with the current executive orders in place, we would not be allowed to have the fair.”

However, Michaeu explained that the Upper Peninsula has been impacted to a much lesser degree than the Lower Peninsula and because of this, the U.P. State Fair Authority hopes it can be advanced to the next reopening stage.

She said the request to move forward with the U.P. State Fair has already been sent to Whitmer’s office.

“We are actually looking at a July 1 date to see if we can proceed (with the fair),” she added.

“I appreciate the work that you are doing,” Commissioner Gerald Piche said. “This board has several members who have grandchildren who want to go to the fair.”

The resolution passed unanimously.