By any name, the Fowlerville Fair is the best

The Fowlerville Fair is in full swing this week, and I’m geeked about it. This will be the 124th edition of the fair, and I’m pretty sure that I’ve been to about 118 or so of them. I love the fair.

What I DON’T particularly like is that these last few years, they kept changing the name of the fair.

For most of its 124 years, the Fowlerville Fair was simply known as the Fowlerville Fair. It’s a Fair that takes place in Fowlerville, so that seemed like a pretty good name. Fair enough.

A few years back, though, somebody decided that the name needed to be changed. This was a textbook example of fixing something that wasn’t broken.

The first name they came up with was “Livingston County’s Fowlerville Fair.” I wasn’t aware of this, but I can only assume that there were several dozen OTHER Fowlerville Fairs taking place around Michigan, so we needed this new name to differentiate our Fowlerville Fair from all the other Fowlerville Fairs out there.

After all, we didn’t want people confusing Livingston County’s Fowlerville Fair with Antrim County’s Fowlerville Fair or Kalamazoo County’s Fowlerville Fair.  So we needed to specify that this was LIVINGSTON County’s Fowlerville Fair. Got it? Good.

Well, a couple years later, somebody decided that the name needed to be changed AGAIN. So we dropped “Livingston County’s Fowlerville Fair” and came up with “The Fowlerville Family Fair.”

Good name, right? It’s a Fair, it’s in Fowlerville, and it’s for the Family. The Fowlerville Family Fair. Can’t argue with that, right?

Well, yes. We all know it’s a family fair, so do we really need to tinker with a name that’s been great for the past 124 years? No.

So whatever they’re calling it these days, I’M calling it the Fowlerville Fair. It will always be the Fowlerville Fair. Period.

And as I said, I’ve been going to Livingston County’s Family Fowlerville Fun Fest Fair (or whatever) for a long time now. I attended my first fair in 1983, the year I moved to Livingston County, and I had my first elephant ear while I was there. From that moment on, I was hooked.

Through the years, I’ve pretty much seen and done all the great stuff there is to do at the fair.

I’ve been on the rides – the wimpy ones like the merry-go-round, and the insane ones that make you lose your lunch.

I’ve seen the smash-‘em-up stuff – I attended most of the demolition derbies at the fair back in the 1980s, and for me, that was the highlight of the decade. Even more so than the “big hair” craze.

I’ve seen the concerts – I took my toddler daughter Amelia to see Jan & Dean back in 1999, and it continues to rank as one of the coolest concerts I’ve ever seen.

I’ve hung out in the 4-H animal barns. Our oldest daughter Chelsie was a 4-H kid in the 1990s, showing her horse for several years at the fair. I got to muck out the stalls and everything. (If you’re not a horse person, you might be wondering what it means to “muck out” a stall. It’s basically a fancy way of saying that you get to clean up poop.)

And I’ve eaten elephant ears. Lots and lots and lots of elephant ears. I hear from reliable sources that there are actually some OTHER things you can eat at the fair, but for me, it’s elephant ears or nothing. It’s rare that you find a food that is so totally, absolutely, 100 percent devoid of any nutritional value whatsoever, so when you find that food, you need to treasure it.

Well, elephant ears and all, the fair will be back starting next weekend. And I can’t wait.

I’ll be there with my kids ­– riding the rides, checking out the animals, touring the Livingston Centre Historical Village, eating the highly nutritional food – everything.

I’m guessing you’ve been to the fair, and I’m guessing you’re planning on making a trip there this week. Everyone in Livingston County is pretty much required to visit the fair at least once in their lifetime.

If you haven’t yet made your first trip to the fair, this would be a great time for it. The 124th fair looks to be one of the best ones yet, with a very cool lineup. In addition to all the regular stuff, this year’s event features a performance by the Lippizzan Stallions.

And if they need someone to muck out the stalls while they’re here, I happen to have some experience.

You can reach Buddy at

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