Grand Traverse County’s Northwestern Michigan Fair Causes Increase In Traffic

“It just creates a significant amount of traffic congestion that you normally don’t see in that area,” Lt. Chris Barsheff, Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Northwestern Michigan Fair is this week.

It’s a local favorite for many, with traffic to prove it.

The fair started this week in Grand Traverse County, and Monday may be their busiest day because of all the discounts.

The volume of people coming and going from the fairgrounds on M-37 south of Traverse City creates backups, and has contributed to crashes.

Two years ago Benzie County teen Kelsey Purchase was killed on her way to the Northwestern Michigan Fair at the intersection at Blair Townhall Road and M-37.

If you’re heading towards M-37 you may want to give yourself a little extra travel time because there are cars backed up all the way to Chums Corners.

It’s all because of a busy day at the Northwestern Michigan Fair.

“We are expecting it to be a full house,” Jillian Noel, treasurer, Northwestern Michigan Fair Board said.

Monday is the kick-off to Grand Traverse County’s summer fair fun.

“Dollar admission for everybody, senior citizens are free as well as veterans are free with their military ID. We also have Arnold’s Amusement doing their 10 for 10 rides that starts at 5 p.m.,” Noel said.

With deals like that it’s no wonder why traffic is bumper to bumper, year after year.

“The traffic is awful. I have been in the past in line for an hour or so, it’s not as bad during the day like I was saying in the evening it’s a lot worse even during the day if one of the events is during the day it’s going to be bad,” Mandie Ross said.

“You could only allow so many cars into the parking lot at a time and unfortunately last year it wasn’t quick enough to elucidate the back up on M-37 even with traffic control. One thing that the fair did this year and will do in subsequent years is figure out ways to route people into their parking lot,” Barsheff said.

But that’s not the only change, last year MDOT put in a flashing light and the fair put out a traffic sign.

“It could be very slow going getting in but once you get in here it’s going to be worth the wait,”

The fair just asks that everyone has patience and drives carefully.

And if you’re not going to the fair choose an alternate route.

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