Currently, the Wisconsin State Fair runs for 11 days in early August on grounds just west of downtown Milwaukee, but things were very different when the first Fair was held in 1851 in Janesville, WI. Then, roughly 10,000 people paid 10 cents per person to enter the State Fair. Today the Wisconsin State Fair hosts close to a million fairgoers each year at the current State Fair ground in West Allis, Wisconsin, where the Fair has been held since 1982.
In 1891 the Wisconsin Agricultural Society purchased nearly 100 acres of farmland from George Stevens in what was then northern Greenfield, in order to secure a permanent site for the State Fair. The fairgrounds later became a staging ground for Camp Harvey during the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II. Two Wisconsin Historical Markers positioned at the entrance of the Wisconsin Exposition Center documents this history for visitors to the Wisconsin State Fair grounds.
The Wisconsin State Fair grounds are home to one of only two remaining Indian effigy mounds left in Milwaukee County. The other is located at the historic Lake Park in Milwaukee.
Attendees to the Wisconsin State Fair can enjoy free entertainment at over 30 stages, as well as a plethora of exotic food, local agriculture and prize-winning animals from across Wisconsin, and shopping of all types. During the State Fair, popular musical acts will play at the Miller Lite Main Stage, which offers track, grandstand and VIP track seating options.
Top notch acts like The Neville Brothers, Trace Adkins, Collective Soul and Skid Row are just a few of the entertainment options to catch at the fair. In years past, The Doobie Brothers, Eddie Money and KC and the Sunshine Band have each played the Main Stage at the Wisconsin State Fair. In 2005 there were 3 sellout crowds: V100 Jam For Peace, Brad Paisley and The Brew’s Rock Never Stops. Total attendance at the Miller Lite Main Stage at the 2005 Wisconsin State Fair reached 85,000.
The Milwaukee Mile, also know as “The Mile” and “America's Legendary Oval,” calls the Wisconsin State Fair Park its home. Holding the distinction of being the longest, continuously operated auto racing facility in the world, the track has hosted at least one auto race every year since 1903. The world famous Milwaukee Mile has been recently upgraded to provide fans and drivers the best experience possible and continues to hold NASCAR and other major league auto racing events.
The Wisconsin State Fair Park also houses the Pettit Center; one of a handful of official Olympic speed skating training facilities in the United States.
Wisconsin State Fair Park
640 South 84th Street
West Allis, WI 53214