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Upgrades, more days for county fair



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June 27, 2012 - The Oakland County 4H fair starts on July 6 and will continue through July 15.

This is the first year the fair has been open for 10 days and promises to be a full day of fun. In addition, a number of campsites on the fairgrounds have been updated to make the experience more enjoyable for those staying at the fairgrounds as well.

General Manager LC Scramlin said there are many reasons for the extended length. One is Michigan fairs used to get money from the state, but that funding has been cut in the past few years.

Since the fair itself is a fund raiser for the event the following year, it is a good way to get more money for the next fair.

It also ensures young 4H people will still be able to get small cash prizes as an incentive for all their hard work. He also said the fair is most importantly about young people and "the best thing is that they're here with their families and with leaders."

Another reason for the change is to provide two weekends so families with busy work schedules have more than one chance to get together and go.

Also the past few years, there have been days when the fair got too crowded. Scramlin said by extending the length, they hope to alleviate that issue. The fair will now also be able to offer Senior Day, Armed Services Day, Battle of the Bands and multiple showings of the rodeo and figure eight race.

This year, the fairgrounds also got a major electrical update. The lights in the parking lot and in the grandstand arena are brand new. In addition, more than half the campsites have been updated to have their own electrical outlet.

In the past, each camper in the "horse area" shared electricity with 3-4 other campers. Most of the money for the upgrades came from Oakland County Parks and Recreation, which, as Scramlin said, "really led the way."

Scramlin remembers 25 years ago when only a dozen campers would show up with nothing more than tents or pop up trailers.

Now there are more than 200 campers every year and most of them have very large campers. The electric upgrade was really needed, especially for the safety of the campers, he said.

Scramlin encourages everyone to attend the fair as it's only $10 to park and after that there are a lot of things you can do for free. With 4H exhibits, animal shows, a circus, exotic petting zoo, pig races and many other events, there's something for everybody.

To learn more about the Oakland County 4H fair visit their website at http://www.oakfair.org.

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