I can't wait for the 170th State Fair!

The anticipation has been building for the reopening of the Wisconsin State Fair, which will be celebrating 170 years of tradition with all of the classic Fair attractions: Entertainment; Food and Beverage; Shopping; Rides; and Agriculture.

One very important change to note is that the operating hours for the Fair will be different this year than in the past:

The Fair will be open August 5th-15th from 11AM-11PM, except for the final Sunday which will be 11AM-10PM.

In addition to the committees that I serve on at the Capitol, I also have the great honor to serve as a Legislative member of the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board, and am very proud of the work that went into bringing the State Fair back for 2021. It was an extremely difficult decision to keep the Fair closed last year, but in the end public safety was our number 1 priority.

One outstanding achievement of the Wisconsin State Fair was to keep operations in the black by holding fundraisers like the Original Cream Puff Drive-Thrus throughout 2020. By offering Cocoa Cream Puffs around the Holidays and Strawberry Cream Puffs at Valentine's Day, the Wisconsin State Fair was able to avoid running a deficit. If you had a chance to try these new flavors, let me know which one was your favorite!

I hope that you are as excited as I am to get back to this annual celebration of Wisconsin and see the updates that have been made to the Fairgrounds.

This chainsaw carving is new to the Wisconsin State Fair after a storm damaged one of the trees on the grounds. Instead of replacing the tree, the Fair found a way to incorporate many of its quintessential symbols into a piece of art that celebrates the Fair's 170 year history!

This fantastic carving also embodies the resilience of Wisconsinites, who, even following a difficult year, know how to move forward with pride!

Hours and Admission

This year the Fair's operating hours will be: 

August 5th-15th 11AM-11PM, except for the final Sunday which will be 11AM-10PM.

Specific hours of operation for buildings and amusements can be found here.

For deals on admission, remember that all non-refunded 2020 admission tickets to the Wisconsin State Fair are valid for the 2021 fair!

Click here for information about how to buy tickets and value packs for entertainment, food and amusements. Don't forget to check out SpinCity deals, or the Bargain Book for deals at Fair Vendors and partners.

Entertainment and Attractions

Entertainment is always a big draw to the Fair, and the lineup of performers this year includes classics such as Billy Idol, Gabriel Iglesias, and Hank Williams Jr. headlining the State Fair Main Stage, as well as local acts at the Bank Five Nine Amphitheater.

Entertainers will also be performing across the Fairgrounds whose music can be enjoyed as you take in the sights, foods, and drinks of the Fair.

There are also many fun animal attractions at the K-9 Sports Arena, the Milking Parlor, the Racing Pigs Arena, and the Sea Lion Splash.

For more information about various performances and exhibits, follow the links below:

Live Music

Animal Attractions

Performances and Demonstrations

Agriculture and Exhibits

Arts and Displays

Upgrades to the Central Mall

Every year, the Wisconsin State Fair works to improve it's experience for guests, and make updates to the park itself.

This year you will notice significant updates to the Central Mall. One important aspect that inspired these updates was the Fair's desire to make the grounds more accessible. The new design of the Central Mall no longer has any curbs or steps, in order to make the area more navigable for everyone.

Other design elements for the new Central Mall were the addition of green space and seating with soft lighting for during the evening, creating a great place to rest while enjoying a bite to eat, or a spot to stop and plan your next Fair experience.

Here's a sneak peak of some of the changes:

Next year, the Wisconsin State Fair plans to renovate the restroom on the Central Mall:

Disability Justice Award

I was extremely proud to hear that the Wisconsin State Fair was the recipient of the 2021 Disability Justice Award.

Dorothy K. Dean included this statement with the award announcement:

"In 2018 State Fair Park created an internal committee to improve accessiblity. The committee solicits ideas from the disability community and the public. An on-going committee is one of the fundamental ingredients used in judging the Disability Justice award recipient. The State Fair Park budget request for fiscal year 2021-2023 puts accessibility up front. Insuring accessibility is an on-going project.

We are excited to recognize Wisconsin State Fair Park for excellence in diversity and inclusion 2021."

Click here for more information about accessibility at the State Fair.

I hope you'll join me!

This year's Wisconsin State Fair will be a very special comeback to the traditions that we all have grown so fond of.

For a look back at the 170 year history of the Wisconsin State Fair, check out the decade by decade highlights from Fairs past. There you'll see pivotal moments like the move to the "New State Fair Park" in the 1890s.