HANCOCK - Mud flinging monster trucks and chainsaw throwing contests are among the many thrills sure to excite and enthrall fairgoers at the 60th annual Houghton County Fair.
Held Aug. 25 through 28, at the fairgrounds on Birch Street in Hancock, events get under way with the 3 p.m. opening of TJ Schmidt and Co. amusements.
"We'll have the Sea Dragon, which is Michigan's largest traveling swinging ship," Houghton County Fair Office Manager Carol Saari said. "Somebody said it makes your stomach feel like a rollercoaster."
David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette
Monster Trucks, shown at the 2009 Houghton County Fair, will be returning to the fair this year.
All rides on Thursday are $1 and the $50 Mega Pass will also be available. The Mega Pass allows for unlimited rides Thursday through Sunday. Wrist band prices are available Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Upwards of 50 indoor and outdoor vendors are expected, with a variety of food and specialty booths.
More than 70 different shows and activities are slated during the four-day event. The Whispering Pines Mobile Zoo in the ballfield; Kenya Safari Acrobats, Cirque da UP unicycle juggling act, and the All American Lumberjack Show are among the attractions performing along the midway or on the indoor stage.
Michigan Technological University's MIND TREKKERS program will entertain families under four large tents in the ballfield from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday with a variety of hands-on science demonstrations
Indoors at 6:30 p.m., nine candidates will compete in the Miss Teen Houghton County Fair Pageant, while motocross action follows in the main event arena at 7 p.m.
Friday is an agricultural day, with livestock shows starting at 9 a.m. and ending around 4 p.m.
Senior Citizens' Day is from noon to 4 p.m. in the indoor arena.
"The first 375 people aged 55 and over will get a free sack lunch and be treated to door prizes and entertainment," Saari said.
Events continue outside in the main event arena with the tractor pull, and off-road derby at 8:30 p.m.
Festivities continue Saturday with a free throw shooting competition in the main event arena, the Kids Fun Day at noon in the green exhibit building, followed by 4-H sponsored Make-and-Take projects, supported by the JC Penny "Round Up" funds.
New this year is the local logging competition from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the main event arena. Contestants will compete in a chainsaw throwing contest, a chainsaw speedcut and 20 qualifiers will enter in a tree felling competition for a $250 grand prize.
"We're encouraging loggers to come," Saari said.
Participants are asked to contact Jan Juntunen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-0488 for more information or to sign up.
Also Saturday is the John Bishop Memorial Horse Show at 10 a.m., youth talent show at 1 p.m. and a livestock auction at 4:30 p.m. Six steers, 10 lambs and several hogs will be auctioned off to support local youth in agriculture.
Monster Truck Madness will take center stage at 7:30 p.m. in the main event arena.
The Avenger, Brutus, Excaliber and Amsoil Shock Therapy will excite spectators with their car-crushing tires and revved up engines.
The half-time show will feature a Celtic demonstration as well as a performance by the Superior Pipes and Drums.
Among the events Sunday is the open horse show at 9 a.m., draft horse show at 9:30 a.m., a horseshoe tournament at noon and the demolition derby at 2 p.m. Live music will be showcased daily by a number of local performers.
Exhibit buildings will be open daily and the people mover will be available to transport people from the parking lot to the gates.
Houghton County Commissioner Scott Ala, who has been a member of the Houghton County Fair Board for nearly nine years, said the fair is an amazing event for the community.
"The reason I find it so amazing is the fact that you have so much youth involved here," he said. "Everywhere you look, everywhere you walk, you see kids smiling and doing things. The overall tone here is always upbeat. People are having fun. It's good for the community."
Passes can be purchased in advance at: the fair office, Northwood's Sporting Goods, and Superior National Bank branches.
For more information, call the fair office at 482-6200 or visit
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by the Houghton County Fair. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.