The 2019 Wisconsin State Fair is almost upon us. It’s been a fixture in Wisconsin for almost 170 years.
The first-ever Wisconsin State Fair was held in 1851 in Janesville. According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, “It was sponsored by the State Agricultural Society to showcase the state’s advances in agricultural machinery and products, (and) attended by about 10,000 people.” West Allis has been the permanent home of the beloved Fair since 1892. Over the years, attractions have been added to draw larger crowds, including “fire company competitions, horse races, sideshows and brass bands, to auto and motorcycle races, aeronautics shows, demolition derbies, politicians and TV/movie celebrities, Alice in Dairyland and, of course, food and amusement rides. Today the fair is a huge eleven-day event with an attendance of nearly one million, a far cry from its modest beginnings.”