Ionia Free Fair
Employees of a local marijuana dispensary are painting the iconic towers at the entrance to the Ionia Free Fair in preparation for the 2021 event.
The volunteers are painting the towers red, white and blue for the Free Fair, which begins July 16.
Arcanna, 29 Beardsley Road, in Ionia sells medical and adult-use marijuana products.
“There is plenty of excitement and anticipation from our community and fair-goers from around the region for this year’s Fair, especially after very painful cancellation in 2020 – the first in our 106-year history,” said Lisa Sanford, the Fair’s board president.
“We’re grateful for all the support we have received. It’s been heart-warming, very encouraging, and definitely welcome.”
Nicole Babinec, Arcanna sales manager, said the business has worked with Free Fair staff to support the community. Arcanna opened in June 2020 — selling medical marijuana. It began selling adult-use marijuana earlier this year.
“We want to give back to the community,” Babinec said. “We found this opportunity of the Fair being a huge event that happens in the town… It’s to make the presence look a little bit better as people are entering the Fair this year.”
Volunteers started the project June 30 and were set to finish July 7, Babinec said.
“As a corporate citizen we want to make sure we contribute,” said Arcanna President David Bye.
“I feel it’s the responsibility of any business in a community to give a little bit back — things go full circle… Plus, the Fair is fun. If we get to be a part of the Fair it’s our pleasure.”
The Fair was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is returning for a nine-day event this year.
This year marks the 106th year of the Ionia Free Fair, which runs until July 24. The Fairgrounds are located at 317 S. Dexter St. in Ionia. More information is available at ioniafreefair.com.