Wisconsin State Fair Celebrates Traditions Old and New in its 172nd Year

August 03, 2023 7:05 PM

From the SkyGlider to the food, it's a true "Slice of Wisconsin"

By: Teri Barr

LISTEN: Teri’s “Slice of Wisconsin” Celebrates the State Fair

The Wisconsin State Fair is underway and celebrating traditions old and new in its 172nd year. You’ll find industries important to our state’s history being highlighted, including agriculture. There are award-winning dairy shows, tractor displays, and a celebration of long-time family farms.

But there are always attractions being added, which means every year, there’s something new for you to discover at the Wisconsin State Fair!

So, where should we start?

Most people say, “The food!”

Honestly, they aren’t wrong. More than 100 new food items are on the menu. Fair officials know it’s so popular, they even provide a printable list so you don’t miss a bite! And if you really enjoy trying to taste as many of the offerings as possible, there’s a thing called “The Sporkies and Drinkies” competition. This gives you the opportunity to try what is deemed the top-12 things to eat and drink at this year’s fair.

By the way, the first place item? A Beer Cheese Wisconsin Lava Cake from W├╝rstBar is number-one in 2023. Listen to my “Slice of Wisconsin” feature above, and see if you can guess what topped the culinary list last year. It may surprise you!

There’s Something for Everyone at the Fair

As a long-time 4-H’er, I am still always drawn to the carefully crafted projects being judged, along with the winning exhibits and animals at our county fairs. My “home” fair was Shawano County where I enjoyed the opportunity to compete in everything from baking to photography as a 4-H’er. I even talked my parents into allowing me to show our dog one year. It was quite the experience in patience and perseverance, though we did end up earning the most improved trophy.

I was also honored to serve as “Fairest of the Fair,” and can honestly say it’s something I’ll never forget. The fair has always been a special event for my family, and earning the “Fairest” position was a dream come true. I still try to attend the Shawano County Fair every year.

Riding the SkyGlider Over the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds (Photo: Teri Barr)

The Wisconsin State Fair was our high school band’s opportunity to strut our stuff. We participated in the march down Main Street several years, and always enjoyed the chance to hang around the fair after our performances.

There really are so many things to do at the state fair — from checking out the displays to eating your way through the grounds — or simply attending to take in the live music, or cruising over everyone thanks to the SkyGlider. The state fair is a true “Slice of Wisconsin,” and runs through August 13.

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