The Armada Fair is Rich in History and Family Fun

The Armada Fair, celebrating its 147th year Aug. 12-18, 2019, started as a contest in 1872 – and it's now one of the hottest family events in Macomb County.

On Wednesday evening at the Armada Fair, its largest crowd – roughly 15,000 people – gathers in the grandstands to witness the most popular highlight of the weeklong event: the demolition derby.

But this action-packed attraction is just one piece of the fun at this annual fair, which is celebrating its 147th anniversary from Aug. 12 to 18, 2019.

Since its founding in 1872, the fair has taken place continuously – never missing a single year, says Bre Werner, administrative assistant with the Armada Fair.

And it’s no surprise. In fact, the Armada Fair, which is a 501 (c)(5) nonprofit agriculture association, has its own board with special committees that work year-round to ensure the Armada Fair is the ultimate summer shebang for families.

The Armada Fair was originally a way to celebrate the end of the farming season in October. “It started as the Armada Area Armor and Mechanics Club, and they would hold an annual plowing contest,” Werner says. “It evolved from a very, very small contest.”

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The three-day celebration continued to grow and, today, it lasts for one week in August and welcomes roughly 75,000 attendees.

Planning a visit to this year’s Armada Fair? Read on for more information about attractions.

2019 Armada Fair

The 147th annual event has plenty of fun in store. Maybe you’ve already caught wind – thanks to the efforts of Nicholas Shafer.

As one of 21 board members for the fair, Shafer works tirelessly to plan and promote the annual county fair, which is a big draw for local families – and it’s no surprise.

“I think it has to do with what we offer and the prices we offer,” Shafer says. Admission is free for kids up to 8 years old, $2 for ages 9-12 and $8 for 13 and older. This year, Shafer notes, families can avoid lines at the main event by securing their tickets in advance online. There is a $1 fee for purchasing on the web. Families can also snag concert infield armbands for $10.

Day-of ticket prices $10 for ages 13-plus, $2 for those 9-12 and free for ages 8 and under. Parking is $5.

With its low admission rates, the Armada Fair offers fun without breaking the bank – and “there’s something to do for the whole family,” Shafer adds.

This includes a variety of grandstand events, in addition to a carnival – always a big draw – kids’ zone, vendors and much more.

Those interested in grandstand events can attend for free with admission to the Armada Fair.

On Monday evening, hit the grandstand to hear country singer Scotty McCreery perform at 8:30 p.m. The stands open at 7:30. On Tuesday, stop by for a monster truck show at 7 p.m. The demolition derby takes place on Wednesday at 7 p.m. – followed by the “bump and run” on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. Friday is all about the rodeo, also at 7 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday feature tractor pulls between noon and 5 p.m.

In addition to the grandstand events, there’s plenty for kids to see and do, including barn animal visits. Kids can watch cows and goats being milked, and, he adds, they might even see a cow have babies – right on site, which has happened previously.

The Budweiser Clydesdales are back in 2019, too.

The Armada Fair takes place at the Armada Fairgrounds, which are located at 74280 Fair St. Gates open at 8 a.m. daily. For a full schedule of events, click here.

For more information on Macomb County and its local offerings, visit the Make Macomb Your Home website.

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