Encompassed by state forests such as Escanaba River and Hiawatha, the Upper Peninsula State Fair in Escanaba, Michigan, is not one to miss. If it’s not the stunning surroundings that lure you to the area for an RV vacation, it will be the summer action, excitement, and entertainment at the seven-day fair.
The Upper Peninsula State Fair is full of carnival rides for kids, exhibits for mom and dad, and even a few competitions for the family to show off their competitive streak. The fair also offers an opportunity to get a headstart on festive shopping, with vendors galore ready to sell their wares to excited visitors.
Headline entertainment is also one of the many reasons why tens of thousands of people make their way to Michigan for the week. In the past, entertainers such as Theory, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Carly Pearce have graced the stages of the fair to entertain the masses.
If you’re on the hunt for the best livestock around, you’ll also find it here at the state fair. Livestock barns are plentiful, with farmers only too pleased to display their favorites for judging.
While you can’t camp at the Upper Peninsula State Fair unless you’re an exhibitor, that doesn’t mean you can’t be close by and ready for the fun. The proximity of state forests to the fairgrounds at 2401 12th Avenue North, Escanaba make it a breeze to visit the fair daily.
Travelers can also look to enjoy Hiawatha National Forest, Escabana River State Forest, and plenty of water activities in the area. Don’t let summer pass you by without an RV adventure. The Upper Peninsula State Fair is calling your name.
Ticket prices for the Upper Peninsula State Fair can depend on your age and the days you visit. You can purchase a week pass, a Monday or Sunday pass, or one for regular admission. Prices vary for youth and adults. You can then add a carnival armband for particular days or the entire week if you’re a thrillseeker. Visit the organizer’s website to secure your tickets and to find out more.
Escanaba rests where minor highway 35 and US-41 join on the edge of Little Bay de Noc. The roads make for easy driving, while the water’s edge ensures your view will always be pleasant, no matter which direction you’re coming from in Northern Michigan.
Because of its proximity to Canada, a trip to the Upper Peninsula State Fair also offers the opportunity to travel out of the country. However, make sure you have all your documents at the ready if you plan on extending your travels in that direction. Otherwise, the journey will be pleasant through many state forest areas until you end up in the City of Escanaba.
There are plenty of grass areas to park your RV during the fair, but these will fill up fast. If you want the best chance of securing a spot, arrive early in the day. Otherwise, consider the option of parking your RV at your campsite then making use of public transportation and private ride services to get to the fair daily or bring your tow vehicle to park on site or nearby for the day.
Escanaba, while not large in size, is home to public bus services, a taxi service, and private rides. If you are staying at a nearby campsite and would prefer to leave your RV there, ask your host about ride options. In the past, there has also been a daily ride service from the center of Escanaba to the fair on a public bus route.
Onsite camping is only available for exhibitors due to the limited spaces available. However, there is a myriad of options nearby, including campsites, RV resorts, and dry camping areas. You won’t be left stranded on your trip to Escanaba. Instead, if you secure your preferred option weeks in advance, you can be central to all the action.
Because of the abundance of state forests, there are dozens of campsites, campgrounds, and RV resorts nearby. Some are within a short few-mile distance of the fairgrounds as well. Consider your needs, such as service hookups, and book your preferred site in advance to better your chances of getting your first pick. You can then arrange to leave your RV at the campsite and make use of public transportation, or drive it to the fair daily.
The conservative size of the fairgrounds means navigation on foot will be effortless and preferred by organizers. On foot, you have an opportunity to explore more of what’s on offer while also helping to keep other visitors safe. There are also plenty of places to sit and relax if you need to rest your weary feet from time to time.
The weather in Escanaba, Michigan during summer can be a mixed bag. It might be lovely and warm one day, but rainy and cloudy the next. Pack your suitcase with this information in mind. You will need a rain jacket, shorts, t-shirts, sweaters, and comfortable footwear for wet and dry ground.
Many of the available campgrounds in Escanaba don’t offer facilities, especially around the state forests. Therefore, you’ll need to remember to pack all your camping and cooking gear with dry camping in mind. Leave your gear in your RV as you head to the fair, but pack a light backpack with cash and credit, a water bottle, and, of course, your fair admission tickets.
Even though the weather conditions in Escanaba can be a little tricky to predict, you can expect at least a bit of sunshine in August. Pack plenty of sun-safe products such as a sunhat, glasses, and sunscreen, and don’t forget the bug spray either as you approach this water-friendly community. For your convenience, there are also plenty of restrooms dotted throughout the fairgrounds.
Each campsite and facility has a different set of rules for which cooking equipment you can use. In state forest areas, you can safely assume that open flames are off-limits. You will be able to use your onboard RV kitchen, but you’re going to need supplies, food, and full tanks. Fortunately, there are plenty of options, including a food service store within a five-minute walk of the fairground and a small store within ten minutes.
Not everyone wants to fill up on cotton candy and corn dogs, and that’s okay. If you want something with a bit more substance, wander into Escanaba and see what’s on offer. There are plenty of fast food outlets within a short walking distance, but the heart of town has even more. There are markets, tacos, pasties, and more, all within proximity to the fairgrounds for your convenience.
A fair isn’t a fair without vendors, so you will be pleased to know there are plenty of them. Make sure you stop off at the onsite ATMs before you wander over to the food area. That way, you can make sure you have the correct payment method for your food and beverage of choice. You can sit down, take a break, and soak up your surroundings as you refresh yourself and your crew.
At each of the ticket collection entrances, you can expect a security presence. State fair officials are there to make you feel safe, but also to answer any questions or concerns you may have. If you require assistance at any time, approach any of the information booths. For anything more urgent, the Escanaba Police Station is under two miles away from the fairgrounds.
If you’re not a fan of intense heat in summer, then you’re in the right place. While the sunshine is enjoyable in Escanaba, it’s not unbearable. You can also except a few days during your stay in the area to include overcast skies, clouds, and maybe a spot of rain. Before you leave your campsite each day, check the weather forecast. You can then establish whether you need to secure any objects, close vents, or prepare for a day of sunshine in paradise.
If you have sustained a minor injury at the Upper Peninsula State Fair, then make your way to the first aid station in the Iron section by the show ring. Here, there are plenty of medical supplies and personnel on site to lend a helping hand. In an emergency, dial 9-11. The nearest hospital is under three miles away, with a pharmacy within two miles.