Day At The Track

Harness racing to return to fairgrounds

07:02 AM 19 Jan 2017 NZDT
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Harness racing returns to The Mason County Fairgrounds this year
Harness racing returns to The Mason County Fairgrounds this year. This photo is from the last racing there in 2002.
Ludington Daily News Photo

The Western Michigan Fair Association lineup is in place for this year’s fair — and harness racing is back.

The 79th annual fair, which will take place Aug. 8-12 at the Mason County Fairgrounds, made plans last week during the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (MAFE) in Grand Rapids.

All 15 members of the fair board attended and contracts were signed for the events and activities at this year’s fair.

Plans are to offer harness racing two days prior to the opening of the fair, Aug. 6 and 7.

“It has been a number of years since we have held harness racing at the fairgrounds,” said Mike Stakenas, president of the Western Michigan Fair Association. “I think it is a great opportunity to exhibit some of our agricultural heritage to the community.”

About 80 2- to 3-year-old colts will be racing, said Marcia Hansen, fair association communications director.

Again, the fair will have T.J. Schmidt and Company as carnival entertainment, bringing about 20 rides, including the three new rides from last year — the Mega Shock, Gee Whizz and the Wipe Out. The Wipe Out came from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in California.

The fair is about more than entertainment, including animal showings, sales and agriculture displays.

Grandstand Events

•Tuesday — Mid-Michigan Truck and Tractor Pull and the Great Lakes Fireworks

•Wednesday — ATR Monster and Mega Trucks, where there will be a photo opportunity preceding the event

•Thursday — Western Michigan Old Engine Club Garden Tractor Pull (tentatively); West Michigan Livestock Council Auction

•Friday — SJO Super Cross

•Saturday — Destruction Demolition Derby

by Mitch Galloway

Reprinted with permission of The Ludington Daily News

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