Still Time for Fun at Oakland County Fair
(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 11, 2015)
The Oakland County Fair continues through Sunday at Springfield Oaks County Park at 12451 Andersonville Rd, Davisburg, MI. The event has all the nostalgic parts one might expect and more.
Friday there was a science-themed day of booths courtesy of General Motors Electric Battery Division. Anthony Modafferi of GM led the group of engineers from the electric battery division as they helped youngsters make batteries, play with a cannon of smoke, play with thermal imagine and other curiosity-driven options.
Ben and Matt Gronzo of Holly made bouncy balls. Their mother brings them to the fair, where she has a booth selling beauty products. “We come every year. When the last day of school hits they know this is coming. ‘When is the fair?’ They ask me every day,” she said. “The kids area is great. Every day there’s a lot for them to do. Keeps them busy and they love it!”
Modafferi’s job typically is designing and testing batteries for GM’s electric and electric hybrid vehicles. Once a year his department has an open house for students from Detroit Schools, but this was their first time being part of the Oakland County Fair. “We have a lot of interns and people we hire straight out of college,” he said. “The kids relate to them very well. They’ll ask questions like ‘How did you get this job?’ or ‘How can I do this stuff?’ So I know we reach a few.”
Other themed-days included Pinewood Derby Day, Americana Day, and Special Needs Day. Saturday is Meijer Day and Sunday is Family Fun Day.
Animals are also a big part of the Oakland County Fair. People from throughout the County compete to showcase their most prized livestock.
Maddy Whitehead of Clarkston won Grand Champion of Market for her giant steer named Willy. She spent part of Friday afternoon sitting in the pen with a bunch of newborn piglets and their mother. Kids and adults watched in awe as the little pigs scampered about and climbed over each other to get to their mother’s milk. 17-year-old Whitehead was there to answer questions. “My dream job will be to go into animal nutrition for cattle,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of animals, horses, chickens, ducks, rabbits, cows goats, dog and cat. I really like it.” The piglets were in a special exhibit called The Miracle of Birth Barn, which had pigs, goats, cows and other families with new or expected new members.
The petting zoo housed some unusual creatures, including alpaca, bison, a zebra, a tortoise and a kangaroo. And through the bars of a circus cage guests watched as a tamer encouraged lions and a tiger to do tricks. Kids could ride ponies.
Nearby visitors could get their faces painted or build creations out of Legos. A man made balloon animals. The carnival itself was full with rides and games, food trucks and vendors with interesting products.
Skull Masters Taxidermy was popular among the kids who’d enjoyed Science Day. The Clarkston-based vendor had furs and animal remains for display, including full-size skeletons of small animals and skulls made into artistic creations. “Whoa” and “Cool” are words Kim and Randy Jidas heard through the day. Necklaces and items made of bone sold well.
Across the way Tom and Penny Sattler sold personalized belts and leather products. Each one was stamped and dyed as ordered so shoppers could see the care put into the process. Other booths sold clothing, art, jewelry, and toys.
The Oakland County Fair runs through July 12. For more information see http://www.oakfair.org/.