The Northern Wisconsin State Fair released its 2016 main stage lineup on Friday.
The Charlie Daniels Band, John Pardi, Dennis DeYoung And The Music of Styx and Beatles tribute band The Fab Four will headline the main stage Wednesday through Saturday, respectively, this year. Rice Bull Riding will be the featured event for Sunday’s family day.
The fair reported a record-breaking attendance of 84,720 last year. Executive director Rusty Volk said that excellent weather played a role in the successful year, but he expects the fair’s lineup, plus all the classic festival favorites, will set the table for another record-breaking year.
“It was awesome to have all those people here,” Volk said. “Let’s all pray for some wonderful weather so we can break that this year. That’s always to goal is to try to increase the attendance and to increase the fun that we can have at this particular event. We’re very appreciative of last year and we’re looking forward to having an even better year in 2016.”
Booking main acts that can appeal to the wide demographics of the Chippewa Valley isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that fair organizers take on every year.
Their goal is variety, and the 2016 lineup has plenty. The Charlie Daniels Band provides a classic country sound, John Pardi is an up-and-coming country star, Dennis DeYoung, former Styx frontman, will play classic hits from his former band and The Fab Four brings the sounds of The Beatles to the main stage. Rice Bull Riding provides family-friendly fun for the fair’s final day.
Tickets for reserved VIP seats will be available on Monday at the fair’s website (www.northernwistatefair.com). Also available on Monday are stocking-stuffer specials with discounts on VIP seating as well as fair admission. There will also be discounts available for carnival rides.
The 2016 Fairest of the Fair will be crowned at a gala on Jan. 16.
The Fairest of the Fair program offers applicants a chance to become the official face of the fair for the 2016 season at a number of events and receive a $1,000 college scholarship. Applications are available on the website.
Prices for admission will remain the same for 2016 and the fair will be presented by Bank Mutual for the third straight year.
Many other attractions have already been booked for the upcoming year. Helicopter rides, chain saw wood sculpting and the Swifty Swine Racing Pigs are among the events from last year that will return. Volk said many of the acts for the Gordy’s Front Porch stage are also lined up.
“We’ve been moving along quite well with getting things prepared,” Volk said. “We’re going to have a fantastic year.”
“We’re very appreciative of last year and we’re looking forward to having an even better year in 2016.” Rusty Volk, executive director, Northern Wisconsin State Fair