Fairs in Mason County can be traced back to the 1870s. However the present location hosted it's first fair in 1936. The fair was discontinued for five years during the height of the Great Depression, but in 1936 the Western Michigan Fair Association was formed. One year prior, the county board of supervisors authorized the purchase of a 185-acre farm owned by Charles G. Wing. The price for the property was $5,000.00!
This action was in response to a promise by the Michigan Bureau of Aeronautics that an aviation field would be constructed by the state and WPA if the county furnished the site. The Wing farm located two miles east of Ludington, provided the perfect spot to build an airport and fairgrounds side by side.
The annual fair has been held each year with the exception of during WW II. Restriction on travel, probable lack of agriculture exhibits and uncertainties of satisfactory entertainment caused the fair board to recommend that no fair be held in 1945, 2012 will mark the 74th annual Western Michigan Fair.
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