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 at the Marshfield Fairgrounds.
This year’s fair is celebrating Marshfield’s 150th birthday along with 100 years of the Wood County 4-H program. “Traditions are treasured and memories are made” is the slogan that resonates throughout the week.
“For this year’s fair we’re focusing a lot on family, and we’re focusing on history,” said executive director Dale Christiansen.
This translates into non-stop, free family fun.
The family entertainment tent is full of entertainment. Check out the fair’s best dressed cows on Tuesday evening. Watch the ducks and pigs trotting down the racetrack each day. Nick’s Kids and Barnyard Show will be on stage daily for family singing, dancing and games. Musical guests include Wisconsin-based singing duo The Memories, Nashville recording artist Red Higgins, country group Diamonds and Whiskey and Christian artist Brendan Brook.
Head to the barns for Animal Overload, where goats, chickens, cats and more compete for the best performance. Browse skills on display in art, woodworking, photography and knitting, just to name a few. Last year alone the Junior Show had over 1,000 entries, and this year the number of exhibitors has increased.
“That’s something we’d like to see,” Christiansen said. “It shows the community’s 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 while the dairy industry is on display.
New to the fair this year is Mr. Ed’s Magical Midway. With more than 20 rides and attractions, thrills are guaranteed. Carnival comes alive on Wednesday afternoons. It will be open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., and Friday to Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
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 proper food with over 18 food vendors. More Cheese Please, Papa’s BBQ and Marshfield Lion’s Den are the only three vendors who will be on site.
Appearing live in the grandstand
This year’s Grandstand lineup is sure to please every generation, starting with Eagles’ tribute band Hotel California on Wednesday night. Hairball takes to the stage on Thursday with their energetic and fiery tribute to the 80s and 90s. Friday is for country fans when multiplatinum artist Gary Allen picks up the mic. His No. 1 hits include “Man to Man” and “Watching Airplanes.”
Saturday and Sunday are for car enthusiasts. Watch monster trucks jump, lap and smash cars on Saturday night as the All Star Monster Truck Tour makes a stop at the Grandstand. Sunday is demolition derby night.
Seats in the grandstand are free with a valid ticket for a Hotel California concert, but VIP and track-side seats must be purchased. The remaining events all require a grand ticket. Gate admission will be included with the purchase of a Grandstand Entertainment ticket. Tickets can be purchased from the fair’s website.
With nonstop 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’re proud to give you something where you’re interested. We’ve got it covered.”
Know before you go
More than 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 fair-goers to purchase tickets online ahead of the fair. A daily gate pass costs $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 admissions specials in the Fair Guide.
Grandstand entertainment ticket prices vary per show. If you purchase a grandstand ticket, this includes your daily gate entry.
A complete unbiased guide can be found online. It contains information about daily programs, specials and events.
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Contact USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter Jennifer Poyer at [email protected]