Wisconsin State Fair

640 South 84th Street
414-266-7000

History of Wisconsin State Fair Park

The storied history of the Wisconsin State Fair began in 1851 when the first Fair was held in Janesville, Wis. Approximately 8,000 – 12,000 people attended the first State Fair for the admission price of 10¢. Since then, almost a million Fairgoers enjoy the annual, fun-filled State Fair each year. Each year between 800,000 and 850,000 Fairgoers devour thousands of cream puffs, shop ‘til they drop, take in fantastic and diverse entertainment, experience life on a farm and create memories for a lifetime. Throughout the 157 years, the Wisconsin State Fair has created memories that have transcended generations and is steeped with the rich traditions of the State of Wisconsin – agriculture, racing, circus, entertainment and family participation.

Since 1851, the Wisconsin State Fair has migrated to numerous Wisconsin towns until it found its home in West Allis in 1892. For significant, historical reasons the Fair was cancelled five different times. The 1861 Fair, set to be held in Madison was canceled due to the Civil War as were the 1862 and 1863 Fairs. During that time the fairgrounds became a training camp for volunteer troops and was renamed Camp Randall. Years later, the University of Wisconsin–Madison football stadium would be built on that site. The next cancellation was in 1893 when the World’s Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago. Officials, anticipating a loss of attendance at the Wisconsin Fair because of that competition, canceled the Fair for a fourth time. The fifth and final cancellation happened in 1945 during World War II at the request of the US Office of War Transportation.


Reviews

Dawn Hass

Rating:
Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018

We went to Rummage a Rama in January 2018. This was a terrible show, people were selling gross, dirty things...A few booth had nice stuff, homemade pickles, jams etc...excellent. Some of the antique, collector toys, essential oils / soaps and jewelry stuff was nice...they didn't fit in with all the junk. This place needs to set some standards.

deb templar

Rating:
Friday, Feb. 2, 2018

Though it costs $12 get in, if u buy the $5 tickets in June, the whole experience is world it. There are lots of people, but the kids' craft center and rides (esp. wristbands for $35), the diversity of food and clothes from other cultures, and the animals and history of WI make it an unforgettable adventure for friends, family, and yourself

Andy Brooks

Rating:
Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018

Always love coming to State Fair every year, the great time for everybody in the family. The Makers Faire is probably one of the best events held on a yearly basis here.

Jen Peters

Rating:
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

We love the fair! So much fun to be had and yummy food. Love the flavored milk at the Kohls barn, roast corn from the lions club, and giant yellow slide.

Natasha John

Rating:
Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017

The Wisconsin State Fair offers hours of family fun. Always adding new/creative food vendors including healthier options. The food-on-a stick craze is still going strong. Make sure to check daily schedule online, if you want to see specific animals; otherwise, you may be disappointed if you go on a change-over day. Unlimited ride wristband is worth the cost, considering my children didn't want to stop after 3 hours! Be prepared to spend $$$ on water/beverages--that's the most expensive part of the fair IMO. The refill cup is a pain to carry around but worth it $wise, if you are going with numerous thirsty kiddos all day. ENJOY! Wait, did I mention cream puffs?! Don't worry, the line goes fast :)