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IONIA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Mayor Dan Balice says his city is known for two things: prisons and the Ionia Free Fair.

Prisons employ many people and keep many people inside; the Fair is Ionia's open window to the world, Balice says.

"This fair is the community - it's full of fellowship. It's full of fun. It is, in our opinion, truly Michigan's greatest outdoor event. Ten best days of summer," Balice said Friday.

The Midway was filling up Friday afternoon, as shrieks could be heard from mostly young people riding the many rides at the Fair.

The Ionia Free Fair runs through Saturday, July 26.

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