April 15, 2014

State fair is under way

Wisconsin state fair gets under way today.

Fair-goers will find plenty of entertainment, farm animals, and food — much of which is on a stick. Many involve bacon or beer — or both, such as beer battered bacon wrapped cheddar hot dog on-a-stick. Now that’s a mouthful.

“We have 70 new foods this year and 21 of the new ones are on a stick.” Kristi Chuckel is Communications & Marketing Manager with Wisconsin State Fair Park. “We currently have over 100 different foods on a stick.”

Celebrating 162 years of tradition, the state fair was created to highlight Wisconsin’s agriculture industry. The Wisconsin Products Pavilion features a variety of foods made in the dairy state.

“All of these producers in Wisconsin — the cranberry growers, the bison producers, the honey producers. There are so many I can’t name them all but they’re all in one building. It’s a great place to go, and it’s air conditioned with seating.”

And the creme of the crop is the cream puff, which has been a staple at the fair since 1924. It was created to showcase Wisconsin’s dairy industry. Last year, Chuckel says, over 375,000 creamy delights were sold at the 11-day event.

This year’s state fair starts today, Thursday, Aug. 1 and runs through Sunday, August 11 in West Allis, near Milwaukee.

Fairgoers can help the hungry on opening day. Admission is $2 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. with at least two nonperishable food items or a cash donation outside any Fair admission entrance. Various daily deals can be found throughout the 11-day event. The final day of the state fair recognizes military veterans and their families, who will receive free admission for themselves, along with up to three family members, with their Military ID.