GARY BULEMORE has been elected to the Michigan Association of Fair and Exhibition Board of Directors (MAFE). Shown are (front row, from left) Brian Kuimin (Cass County Fair), Vickie Micheau (Upper Peninsula State Fair), Lisa Reiff (executive director), Jamie Skerbeck (Skerbeck Entertainment Group) and Steve Thelen (Saline Community Fair). In the back row (from left) are Trish Steele (Midland County Fair), Gary Bulemore (Shiawassee County Fair), Lynn MacArthur (Chippewa County Fair), Lenore Senter (Emmet Charlevoix County Fair), Larry Bush (Grand Blanc Family Fun Fest), John Currie (Mecosta County Fair) and L.C. Scramlin (Oakland County Fair).
MAFE is a large factor in Michigan tourism, representing the expansive agricultural resource in the state. Eighty-six fairs participate in the program.
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Gary Bulemore became involved with the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds in 1988, has served on the board since 1993, is the full-time groundskeeper since 2002 and was just recently elected to the Michigan Association of Fair Exhibition Board of Directors (MAFE). His passion for the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds, particularly the connection with the community and kids, is obvious in his years of dedication and service.
Bulemore shared he initially became involved when his daughter started showing horses and has now been a part of the Central Michigan Horseman’s Association (CMHA) for over 30 years – helping organize six weekend shows at the fairgrounds annually. CMHA is an all-breed organization. Certified judges address both youth and adult members, based on their skills as horsemen. The goal is always focused on advancing those skills. Bulemore said CMHA tries to cater to families and kids.
As for his connection to MAFE, Bulemore explained that Ric Crawford, the Shiawassee County Fair Manager, who has also been involved with MAFE for many years, was a proponent in encouraging him to run for the board position. In his new position, Bulemore is “looking forward to helping out.” At first he was concerned with the time for travel to meetings in Lansing and Grand Rapids, regarding his full-time position at the fairgrounds, but Crawford assured him it would all work out. With MAFE, Bulemore said he wants to “add in my ideas, hope to come up with some good ones and make it better for everybody involved.” He is happy to have the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with other MAFE members.
“We have to help each other out, I think. It’s good for the kids and good for the community,” said Bulemore. He also stated that he would love to have the time to go to every fair in the state, though he does make every effort to attend as many as he can. “I enjoy seeing the people and sharing ideas.” Bulemore has also attended the International Association of Fairs (IAFE) several times, both in Las Vegas and San Antonio.
As for his commitment, he shared, “I think people look at the fairgrounds as only one week of the year, but I look at it as all year round.” So, next time you are at the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds on Hibbard Road, take a moment to note how pristinely they are maintained, and perhaps remember to thank Bulemore, the board, staff and everyone involved in helping supply the county with such a remarkable asset.
More on the fairgrounds can be found at www.shiawasseefair.com or by calling (989) 743-3611.