Shirkey reminds residents of Free ORV Weekend

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey on Tuesday reminded everyone in Branch, Hillsdale, and Jackson counties that they have a unique opportunity to explore Pure Michigan during the Free ORV Weekend on Aug. 19-20.

“There are thousands of miles of beautiful trails and routes throughout Michigan for ORV drivers and riders to enjoy,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Heading out on the trails in an off-road vehicle is one awesome way to explore our great state, and what better time than during the Free ORV Weekend this upcoming Saturday and Sunday?”

An off-road vehicle is one built primarily for recreation off standard roadways. During the Free ORV Weekend, ORV enthusiasts can ride DNR-designated routes and trails without an ORV license or trail permit. All other ORV rules and laws still apply.

For more information, including ORV trail maps, a list of ORV-friendly state parks and campgrounds, and a link to the Handbook of Michigan Off-Road Vehicle Laws, visit

Shirkey reminds residents to head to their county fair

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey on Wednesday reminded residents that the Branch County and Jackson County fairs are in full swing, and the Hillsdale County Fair runs next month.

“Our county fairs have plenty to offer everyone,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “They celebrate Michigan’s remarkable agricultural heritage by showcasing animals large and small; they offer live performances and other entertainment; and they sell great food that you might not get anywhere else.

“The fair is a classic summertime experience in the 16th District. I hope everyone can make it out!”

The Branch County Fair runs through Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Branch County Fairgrounds, 262 S. Sprague St., in Coldwater. Remaining events include a small-animal auction on Thursday, Aug. 10; large-animal auction on Friday, Aug. 11; and livestock judging on Saturday, Aug. 12. For more information, visit

The Jackson County Fair runs through Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, 200 W. Ganson St., in Jackson. Remaining events include “The Voice” competition on Thursday, Aug. 10 and the large-animal showmanship sweepstakes contest on Friday, Aug. 11. Visit for more information.

The Hillsdale County Fair runs from Sunday, Sept. 24 through Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Hillsdale County Fairgrounds, 115 S. Broad St., in Hillsdale. Events include the Antique Tractor Pull on Monday, Sept. 25 and International Derby Day on Tuesday, Sept. 26. See for more information.

Editor’s note: Videos of Shirkey discussing the county fairs in the 16th District are available by clicking Video at right.