The 122nd edition of the Northern Wisconsin State Fair is ready to open its gates Wednesday morning and will remain open through Sunday.
The annual celebration in Chippewa Falls features a wide array of food, competitions and entertainment that brings tens of thousands to the Chippewa Valley every July.
One-day admission is $10, five-day admission is $20, children ages 6 to 11 are admitted for $5, children younger than 6 are admitted for free and parking on the grounds is $5.
Fair Director Rusty Volk said some new additions to the fair include a glass-blowing exhibition, exhibits on clean water, a competition where kids are tasked with replicating Chippewa Falls buildings with Legos, expanded agriculture and animals tents/exhibits and wider variety of food options for attendees to savor.
Volk said the fair feels new every year and the tradition of a fun-filled time for the whole family has stayed strong for more than a century due to the quality of the surrounding community and those who choose to visit.
“The Chippewa Falls community is a wonderful place to grow up and live in,” Volk said. “This community has continued to support the fair for over 120 years. The tradition is there and people will come together to enjoy their families, friends and relatives as they carry on that tradition.”
One of the biggest attractions the fair offers is a wide mix of musical entertainment.
For example, the main grandstand includes headliners such as Sammy Kershaw (Wednesday), Hairball (Thursday), Big & Rich w/Cowboy Troy (Friday) and recent Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (Saturday).
In addition to larger headline acts, free entertainment is available daily.
Contradiction is a local cover band playing at the fair Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 p.m. to midnight in the Leinie Lodge Beer Garden, and lead singer Dave Bebeau said getting to play during the fair is an opportunity the band is very grateful for.
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“We’re very excited to be playing the Northern Wisconsin State Fair again,” Bebeau said. “We’re very honored to have been invited back. It’s such a great event for the Chippewa Valley and the people are always awesome. The city of Chippewa Falls is such a great community, so we’ve always had positive interactions in the city in general and the fair specifically. It’s just a great place to play.”
Food is another attraction the fair prides itself on, offering everything from cheese curds and gyros to caramel apples and variety of food items sure to satisfy those in attendance.
Some of the food vendors are local as well, providing an opportunity for the organizations and businesses to be exposed to a variety of customers and out-of-town guests, who get to try some local cuisine.
One of the local organizations in attendance will be the Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls. The organization makes annual contributions to a variety of charities and has had an ice cream/dessert vendor, which features local selections such as Olson’s ice cream.
Brady Zwiefelhofer, president of the Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls, said the NWSF is the group’s largest annual fundraiser.
It’s also a great opportunity to connect with people both in and out of the Chippewa Falls community and let them know about their charitable organization.
“Our members who can’t attend our normal meetings typically have a volunteer shift at the fair,” Zwiefelhofer said. “It’s nice to see all of the members come together to cover the shifts. We love to see the wide range of people who come out and it’s great to see everyone who comes to support local organizations. Some people seek us out and others come out of state to experience something local. It is definitely one of the events we look forward to every year.”
Additional attractions at the fair include the highly popular carnival rides, tractor pulls, agriculture exhibits, competitions, merchandise vendors, an exhibit showcasing past fairs and much more.
The Northern Wisconsin State Fair officially opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday. For more information, you can visit www.nwsfa.com.
“This community has continued to support the fair for over 120 years. The tradition is there and people will come together to enjoy their families, friends and relatives as they carry on that tradition.” Rusty Volk, fair director