April 24, 2014

State Fair begins today

The Wisconsin State Fair begins its 11-day run today.

This year marks 161 years of State Fair tradition mixed with some new ideas, according to Kristi Chuckel with the State Fair. There will be plenty of food, music, activities, animals, rides, games and shopping.

SpinCity is being managed by State Fair staff, Chuckel says, with hand-picked games, rides, and food venders. The Potowotomi Bingo Casino main stage is always a big draw, along with 30 free stages of diverse entertainment sprinkled on the nearly 200-acre Fair Park, surrounded by the Giant Slide.

There have been reports of judges seeing fewer animals and smaller vegetables at Wisconsin county fairs due to the statewide drought, but it’s too soon for Chuckel to comment. She says, though, the number of entries has not decreased.

There are plenty of air-conditioned buildings to keep visitors cool, and Chuckel says, they have more shaded, seated areas for the comfort of fair-goers. Also, visitors will find double the amount of cooling misters throughout the grounds. There is beefed-up security, and plenty of parking — including shuttles from park-and-ride lots.

Today is Hunger Task Force Day. Fair-goers who present at least two nonperishable food items or make a cash donation between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. will receive fair admission for only $4. Also, fair-goers are allowed to bring water bottles into the fairgrounds.

Governor Scott Walker will kick off the Wisconsin State Fair by giving remarks at the opening ceremony at 9:30 at the Cousins Subs Amphitheater. Wisconsin State Fair Park takes place in West Allis from Aug. 2 – 12.