Wisconsin State Fair begins on Thursday

The 171st Wisconsin State Fair runs through Sunday, August 14.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 8:22 AM CDT
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WEST ALLIS, Wis. (WMTV) - The cream puffs are filled and the rides are ready for the start of the 171st Wisconsin State Fair. Opening Day for the Wisconsin State Fair is on Thursday and runs through Sunday, August 14.

As part of the 11 days of family fun, there are hundred of food and drink vendors to choose from and plenty of live entertainment at the State Fair Main Stage.

Some performers include Brant Matthews or “Fire Guy” showing off his fire juggling abilities.

Last year, more than 841,000 people attended the fair. This year, organizers are hoping to get back to pre-pandemic numbers and welcome 1 million visitors.

There is a new bag policy that officials want visitors to be mindful of.

“The size is 9x10x12. If you have special needs, medical or you have a diaper bag we will make special exceptions for those to come through the gates. If you’re a shopper like I am you can bring in a larger bag. You do have to have it folded down flat and empty and it has to fit in that size, but then once you bring it in to the fair you can open it up and shop until your heart is content,” said Shari Black, the CEO of the Wisconsin State Fair.

There are also a record 80 new food items available for purchase, plus the Sporkies have been awarded once again to some of the top food items.

“We have our Sporkies contest, that’s our food competition. It was held on Tuesday night. All of our participants are listed on our website as well as the winners, but if you were a finalist you will have a giant spork trophy outside of your vendor stand,” said Black.

The fair puts a focus on the state’s agriculture industry by providing entertaining and educational opportunities through animal exhibits and livestock shows. The 75th Alice in Dairyland, Taylor Schaefer, will be at the fair all week with the mission of spreading that message.

“Every single day at 11 a.m. I’ll be leading milking demos at the milking parlor, which is right across from the street from the coliseum. I’ll also be giving a demonstration every day at 1 p.m. in the products pavilion on Wisconsin products and dairy,” said Schaefer.

Schaefer grew up in Racine County, just south of Milwaukee, on her parent’s beef and crop farm. She was an exhibitor at the state fair for 8 years.

“Just walking through the barns, you can just feel the sheer sense of community. Wisconsin farms, we are proud to have 95% of our farms family owned. So, some of these families have made it a tradition every year to come to the Wisconsin State Fair with their animals and to show off their livestock and it’s just a really great opportunity to really experience Wisconsin agriculture,” said Schaefer.

There are expanded hours of operation for 2022. The State Fair is open from:

  • Sunday – Wednesday: 10am – 10pm
  • Thursday – Saturday: 10am – midnight

Tickets are available on the Wisconsin State Fair website.

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