MARSHFIELD – There will be pig races, children’s activities, a carnival, live music and all the fair food you can eat when the 119th Central Wisconsin State Fair begins Tuesday and runs through Sunday on the grounds of Marshfield Fair.
This year’s fair celebrates Marshfield’s 150th anniversary along with the 100th anniversary of the Wood County 4-H program. The theme, “Traditions are treasured and memories are made,” echoes throughout the week’s program.
“For this year’s fair we are focusing a lot more on family and focusing on history,” said Executive Director Dale Christiansen.
This translates into non-stop family fun.
The Family Fun Tent is full of fun. See the fair’s best dressed cow on Tuesday evening. Watch the ducks and pigs walk around the race course each day. Nick’s Kids and Barnyard Show will be on stage daily for family songs, dances and games. Musical guests include Wisconsin-based singing duo The Memories, Nashville recording artist Red Higgins, country band Diamonds and Whiskey and Christian artist Brendan Brook.
Go to the barns for animal overload, where goats, chickens, cats and more compete for the best show. Browse exhibits that demonstrate skills in art, woodworking, photography and knitting, to name just a few. Last year there were over 1,000 entries in the youth show alone, and this year the number of exhibits has increased.
“That’s what we like to see,” Christiansen said. “It shows community involvement.”
Wisconsin history and treasures will be featured in the Wonders of Wisconsin exhibit in the hockey building. Visitors can learn about the state’s history, agriculture and nature. Play a round of Guess the Cheese on Saturday when the dairy industry is on display.
New to the fair this year is Midway Magical by Mr. Ed. With over 20 rides and attractions, thrills are guaranteed. The carnival kicks off on Wednesday at noon. It will be open from noon to 10pm Wednesday and Thursday, and from noon to 5pm Friday to Sunday.
Tickets for the carnival will not be sold online this year, but daily carnival specials will be offered throughout the week. Find details on the fair website.
Get your fill of fair food with over 18 food vendors. More Cheese Please, Papa’s BBQ and Marshfield Lion’s Den are just three of the vendors that will be on site.
Appearing live on the stand
This year’s lineup is sure to please every generation starting with the Eagle’s Hotel California tribute band on Wednesday night. Hairball takes the stage on Thursday with their energetic and sultry tribute to the 80s and 90s. Friday is for country fans when multi-platinum artist Gary Allan takes the mic. His #1 hits include “Man to Man” and “Plane Watching.”
Saturday and Sunday are for car enthusiasts. On Saturday night watch monster trucks jump, jump and smash cars as the All-Star Monster Truck Tour makes grandstand stops. Sunday is demolition derby night.
Grandstand seating is free with a Hotel California concert fair ticket, but VIP and trackside seating must be purchased. The remaining events require all grandstand tickets. Purchase of an entertainment ticket in the grandstand will include gate admission. Tickets can be purchased on the fair website.
With non-stop events, entertainment and numerous vendors, Christiansen hopes fairgoers will be satisfied.
“Some people like the animals and some people come for the food,” Christiansen said. “We pride ourselves on giving you something where your interests lie. We covered that.”
Know before you go
Over 55,000 people attended the fair last year and current ticket sales suggest the number of attendees will exceed that number.
The Marshfield Fairgrounds is located at 513 E. 17th St. in Marshfield. Parking is plentiful and free.
Fair officials are encouraging visitors to purchase their tickets online in advance of the fair. Daily gate passes are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Children under 5 are free. Season gate passes are $30 for adults and $15 for children. Check out the daily admission specials in the fair guide.
Grandstand entertainment ticket prices vary by show. If you buy a grandstand ticket, it includes your daily gate entry.
The full guide to the fair is available online. It includes daily schedules, specials and event information.
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Contact USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter Jennifer Poyer at [email protected].