JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The Jackson County Fair is celebrating 168 years. Leaders say it is a tradition they look forward to every year, and this year they expect nearly 200,000 people to come through.

“I have a passion for this place like no tomorrow,” said Executive Director for the Jackson County Fair, Denise Owens.

Owens first remembers coming to the Jackson county fair when she was nine years old. Now, she runs the show. She says the backbone of the fair starts with getting up and close with all the different animals.

“Back there on the north end that’s where it all started and that’s where the people have a love for the Jackson county fair,” said Owens.

There are more than 30 rides, including two new ones imported from Europe. This year also showcases a renovated and improved design. It’s allowing for free transportation on golf carts like these throughout the grounds.

“Really it’s the layout and how I think they we have really improved the visibility and the walkability,” said Owens.

Tammy Bates has been coming here for decades. Now she’s leading a group of more than 50 volunteers every day to make sure every seat is just right for concerts like tonight that include Hank Williams.

“It is so rewarding for me just to put everything together to see it come off, and to see the shows come off with a bang and everything flow like it should,” said Bates.

For others, they remember when this whole area was mostly just dirt.

“It’s vastly improved you know it’s a modern county fair,” said Fair Attendee, Craig Finch.

Owens says the show is just getting started.

“We go onto out dirt shows which are super popular at the fair with the monster trucks, the rodeo and the demolition derby to end out the week.”

Tickets can still be bought for shows here. Admission is $2.