by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor


THE SHIAWASSEE COUNTY FAIR OFFICE Manager Karen Erwin (on right) is shown at the fairgrounds on Monday, June 27, as the staff took a short break from entering fair registration data. The new staff has been working together since March 1 and is in the home stretch of fair preparation. With the entry period completed, the group will now concentrate on solidifying plans for fair week, in addition to organizing the many weekly events leading up to the fair. Exhibitor entry tags and passes will be available at the office, 2900 Hibbard Rd., Aug. 3 through 5 from noon to 5 p.m. and the fair kicks off Sunday, Aug. 7 with “Veterans Day.”

Also shown with Erwin are Jenni O’Brien (left) and Helen Dettore. Staff members Michelle Perry and Sylvia Nations were not available for the picture. (Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

The Shiawassee County Fair office is under the direction of new leadership, and first-year office manager Karen Erwin wants the community to know that everyone is welcome in the office. Erwin took over the position March 1 and has been gearing up for fair week, Aug. 7 through 13, all while organizing a busy event calendar that stretches from April through December. Erwin and her four experienced office staffers, Helen Dettore, Jenni O’Brien, Michelle Perry, and Sylvia Nations, got the chance to meet the fair exhibitors during the recent entry/registration period, and they all look forward to working with the rest of the fair community as the build up to fair week continues.

“I want to emphasize that the fair office is open to everyone,” Erwin said recently. “So many people play a role in making the fair what it is; the exhibitors, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, and spectators; and it is their office too. We welcome anyone to stop in and say hello.”

Most people assume that the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds lay dormant 51 weeks a year, but that could not be further from the truth. In addition to preparing for the fair, Erwin and her staff stay busy coordinating animal shows, fundraisers, and other community events that take place nearly every weekend and sometimes even during the week. But fair life is nothing new to this group of ladies. All five have extensive experience, especially Erwin, whose Shiawassee County Fair roots go back to her days as an exhibitor when the fair was held at McCurdy Park in Corunna. She also spent at least 10 years on the Shiawassee County Fair Board, in addition to helping in the office many summers and organizing fundraising efforts.

And while spectators can catch an animal or truck show any weekend at the fairgrounds, the big event leading up to the fair will be the Fifth Annual Car & Semi Truck Show from Aug. 5 through 7, which includes a light parade Saturday Night. For a complete list of fairground activities, interested persons can check the fair website at

New Fair Office Staff Reaches Out to Community was last modified: July 5th, 2016 by Karen Elford