Ionia Free Fair Begins Today
It was canceled last year due to COVID, but this year the Ionia Free Fair is back on. It begins July 16 and runs until July 24.
The Ionia Free Fair has been around for 106 years. It has only closed twice. Once during World War II and last year during the pandemic.
This year, there is excitement in the air but also concern for ride safety based on the incident at the Cherry Festival in Traverse City. Ionia Free Fair President of the Board of Directors Lisa Sanford told Fox 17,
"We have worked with Arnold's for 10 years and their commitment to safety is top notch, we know firsthand. We have full confidence that the rides they're bringing to the Ionia Free Fair are safe. The ride from the Cherry Festival was dismantled, sent back to the manufacturer for investigation and it is not coming to the Ionia Free Fair."
Sanford says there is nothing to worry about at the Ionia Free Fair, even though the fair uses the same company for their rides as the Cherry Festival - Arnold Amusements, based out of Ohio.
Typically fair organizers have 11 months to plan for the fair but this year, they didn't begin planning for the Ionia Free Fair until May instead of the previous August. That left them with only 60 to prepare. Sanford states the organizers are expecting a record turnout this year.
The fair begins Friday, July 16 and will go on until Sunday, July 24. The fair will be open everyday from 1pm until 11pm, and 1pm until 10pm July 24. Tickets will be available on-site everyday and online for a few days.