Fans of the Michigan State Fair said most of their good-byes in September, when the oldest fair in the country closed for what they feared was the last time.
Those fears were realized Friday as Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed a $7.1-million appropriation (most of it from fair-related revenue) approved by the Legislature in an attempt to save the 160-year-old fair. The veto likely ends any hope the fair had of surviving in its traditional form, although supporters hope to find other financial support and uses for the fair and fairgrounds at Woodward and 8 Mile Road.
In her veto message to the Legislature, Granholm said that “given current revenue constraints, tax dollars can no longer subsidize State Fair operations.”
One of those fans, Mary Ann Michalski of Roseville said Friday she was saddened but not surprised by the news.
“It’s a shame. It’s understandable in this economy,” Michalski said. “But we had the oldest aquarium,” on Belle Isle, “and we shut that down. We have the oldest fair. … We’re just letting these jewels go.”