Wisconsin State Fair History
Even on off-days, the Wisconsin State Fair Park still attracts visitors with an immense history dating back over 10,000 years.
One of just two remaining Indian effigy mounds in Milwaukee County was built at the site by the Woodland People in 8000 BC, containing rare artifacts now on display at the West Allis Historical Museum.
Agriculture took over the land as settlements moved west in the 19th century.
By 1891, the Wisconsin Agricultural Society had acquired the land as a home for the 40th anniversary of the Wisconsin State Fair.
The fair has been an annual fixture at the site every year since 1892, though the Wisconsin State Fair Park has also hosted a number of other historically significant events in that time.
Named on Wisconsin's Official Historical Markers List, the area adopted the name Camp Harvey during both World Wars and the Spanish-American War, as it was transformed into a staging-area for soldiers about to be deployed.
The Green Bay Packers used the park through the 1930s and 40s as an alternate home in Milwaukee, hoping to attract a larger crowd to boost ticket sales.
The location hosted the 1939 NFL Championship Game between the Packers and the Giants in front of a record attendance of over 32,000.
Notable Wisconsin State Fair Park Historical Music Events
Over 20 bands including Led Zeppelin, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Johnny Winter, and Bob Seger performed at the Midwest Rock Festival in July, 1969.
The Milwaukee Mile has hosted nearly every major auto-racing league since breaking-ground in 1903. It is the world's oldest racetrack still in use.
The Pettit National Ice Center is one of just 11 official U.S. Olympic training facilities.
It has played host to multiple regional, national, and world competitions since opening in 1993, and is the home-rink of the U.S. men's and women's speed-skating teams.
Recent State Fair Ticket Events
Far from its humble beginnings as a 10 acre dirt fairgrounds, the Wisconsin State Fair Park is now a fully contemporary space for any event.
Annual tenants include the Halloween Express costume store, the Milwaukee RV Show, the Wisconsin Winter Farmer's Market, and the Milwaukee Indy-Fest.
Business, hobbyist, and even cultural conventions are held almost weekly at the Wisconsin Exposition Center.
In 2013, groups such as American Sokol Sports, the Scrapbook Expo, and the American Saddlebred Horse Show held events at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.
For the 2014 season, the site expects a record number of tenants to rent space.
Getting To The Wisconsin State Fair Park
The Wisconsin State Fair Park is easily accessible from the 84th Street exit off of I-94.
On-site parking is available for between $5 - $10, depending on the event. All buildings in the park are handicap accessible, including ramps and electric doors.
Since its founding more than 100 years ago, the fairgrounds has remained a popular destination for locals and travelers alike, hosting events year-round in its 10 park facilities.
The Pettit National Ice Center, the Milwaukee Mile, and the Wisconsin Exposition Center are the most prominent complexes on the grounds, each touting world-class features in their respective focuses.
Smaller facilities at the Wisconsin State Fair Park include the Ag Village, the Wisconsin Products Pavilion, and the Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center.
Fittingly, the largest event held annually at the Wisconsin State Fair Park is, well, the Wisconsin State Fair.
Nearly 1 million people attend the 11 day August festival at the park, enjoying the hundreds of attractions available to all ages.
State agriculture is the feature of the fair, as thousands of farmers from across Wisconsin show-off livestock and compete in tractor-pulls.
From roller-coasters to pig races, from fried pickles to cream-puffs, even a museum dedicated to the 160-year legacy of the event can be had at the Wisconsin State Fair.