GreeningDetroit.com was the media sponsor of the Great Lakes State Fair, once known as the Michigan State Fair. The site for the State Fair has changed but we were able to find some nostalgic traditions.
Remember going to the fair for the treats: cotton candy, corn dogs, lemonade, and those all too famous elephant ears. If you did chances are you got them from the Bain’s family.
Jack Bain started his concession business in the late 1950’s. He and wife Mary operated a successful restaurant in Waterford and one day Jack came home with an idea and a chicken concession franchise, “Chicken Delight”. Are you old enough to remember their tag line “Don’t Cook Tonight, Get Chicken Delight”? They were a hit at the Michigan State Fair that year selling a paper filled cone with a mound of French fries and one drumstick on top.
As time went on the Bain’s have had more than 10 concession trucks at the Michigan State Fair. Every summer their kids knew where they were, working the business that put them through school as well as provided for the family.
When the Michigan State Fair closed its doors at the familiar location of Woodward and Eight Mile Road the Bain’s thought it would be the end of an era. The memories of Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five remain vivid in Mary’s mind. She still laughs when she thinks of the show he put on “Boy, was he talented.” said Mary.
When Jack passed away the family pulled together. Mary ran the concession business until recently. Daughter Renee Bain-Keene stepped in “She’s just like her dad” her mom laughed. Now Mary is helping Renee continue the tradition that makes memories at the Fair.
Since the new venue is smaller there’s not room for all the Bain concession trucks but they have the best corn dogs I have tasted in YEARS! And the fried onion rings are so big you can hoola hoop…well I am exaggerating but those babies are big!
Hope you joined GreeningDetroit.com at the Great Lakes State Fair. If you missed it you’ll have to wait another whole year to get your corn dog fix.
Author: Tina Riley-Humphrey, representing GreeningDetroit.com