Wilder Side of Oakland County
“Wherever I go, I see little bits of nature, little bits of animal behavior. And nobody else is watching…” Those are the words of iconic conservationist Jane Goodall in her 2018 interview titled, “Living with Chimps” that appears in the BBC publication, Science Focus. I had just finished reading the text of her interview last Friday about her controversial career and how her observations transformed the way we see our primate cousins. It was then time to head off to Springfield Oaks County Park for the grand opening of the 2018 Oakland County Fair. Jane Goodall was not on my mind nor was wildlife observation, but sometimes things change quickly.
Springfield Oaks County Park is not where folks generally go to embrace the wilds of nature or seek solitude. Springfield Oaks bustles with popular crowd oriented activities. The Oakland County Parks website makes no mention of passive nature exploration at their 333-acre multi-use park, but quite correctly boasts of the crowd-attracting venues:
“Springfield Oaks is home of the historic Ellis Barn and annual Oakland County Fair, which draws 100,000+ visitors annually to the 10-day event. The 1884 Ellis Barn is 14,000-square-feet and features an indoor riding arena, 11 box stalls, mechanical exercise ring and cavernous second floor for hay and straw. The barn was donated by former major league baseball players Kirk Gibson and Tim Birtsas and moved from its original located on Dixie Highway to Springfield Oaks in 2005. Today, the barn is used to host weddings and special events like the Ellis Barn Dance and the Michigan Antique Festival. The park also offers a multipurpose room for banquets, reunions and seminars as well as exhibit hall space. The grounds include two outdoor arenas.”
Excitement soars as the 2017 Oakland County Fair prepares for its grand opening at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg. The fair, which opens July 7th and runs through July 16th, is presented by Oakland County Parks and features a wide range of 4-H events, musical acts, and amusement park thrills.
Wristbands and tickets are available online and at the gate. Tickets grant visitors access to all areas of the fair: from the roller coasters to the racing pigs.
Next Monday, high school students from across Oakland County will descend upon the Oakland County Government campus to be immersed in a day of local government activities led by various public servants and elected officials. During this year’s annual Youth In Government Day, hosted by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners on May 15th, students will learn the importance of civic engagement and how they can participate in the politics and policies that impact their lives and communities.
“This event is a great opportunity for area youth to experience first-hand how local government operates and to interact with many of the elected officials that contribute to making Oakland County one of the best run in the country,” said Board Vice Chairman Michael Spisz. “We have worked closely with our partners, including MSU Extension 4-H, the Sheriff’s Office and others, to make this year’s program interactive and engaging. We are confident it will be a fun and educational experience for the students.” Continue reading
Take a ride on the Ferris wheel or roller-coaster, pop over to visit the science tent, visit the goats or ride the ponies. It’s a 4-H dream complete with pig races, a birthing tent and horseback riding.
From July 8-17, Springfield Oaks County Park, located at 12451 Andersonville Rd., Davisburg, Mich. 48350, will transform its sprawling 332-acre space into a carnival, competitions, shows and other 4-H events. The Oakland County Fair will set up shop, providing entertainment and learning opportunities for all ages.
Wristbands are available for purchase online, however guests can also purchase tickets at the gate. Tickets will grant guests access to all parts of the fair, including a visit with the chickens, cows, goats and even tigers!