The origins of the Wisconsin State Fair date back to the year 1851. That year, a small agricultural event took place in Janesville, with no more than 15,000 people in attendance. More recently, the Wisconsin State Fair has over a million people coming to the fairgrounds every year, where they can experience the best Wisconsin has to offer.
This fair is easily the biggest agricultural showcase in this part of the country, and it offers endless entertainment for the entire family and people of all ages. From amazing rides and attractions to mouthwatering food and fantastic musical acts, the Wisconsin State Fair offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Pack up your RV and do some camping next to the fair or book nearby and mix up your time with fair-going and nature-loving.
The event takes place in West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee, and it typically lasts for 11 days during early August. So, if you want to spend your summer vacation here, consider booking a campsite early and get your tickets online.
Tickets for the Wisconsin State Fair can be purchased in advance online or upon arrival. If you are looking to save some hard-earned money, the best option may be to purchase your tickets online in advance. Guests have a variety of ticket options, from single admission tickets to group admission tickets and VIP tickets. Keep in mind that tickets for adults are a bit higher in price, whereas tickets for children (5 & under) are free. For more detailed information about the ticket options and prices, check out the official website of the Wisconsin State Fair.
The location of the Wisconsin State Fair is 640 S. 84th St, West Allis, WI. This location is conveniently located near the interchange of I-41 and I-94. If you are coming from Chicago via I-94, your ride may last just under two hours. On the other hand, if you are traveling from Minneapolis via I-94, it may take you just under or over five hours to reach the fairgrounds.
The fair's location features a number of parking lots, suited for a variety of vehicles, from cars and motorcycles to buses and RV's. Parking tickets for cars and larger vehicles are more expensive than those for motorcycles, whereas free bicycle parking, is available nearby at W. Greenfield Avenue and S. 81st Street, and near the Main Gate.
Keep in mind that if your vehicle leaves the lot, you will have to pay the standard fee upon reentry. Also, only right-hand turns into the fairgrounds are allowed to ease the flow of traffic and help everyone stay safe.
If you'd like to avoid the traffic and hassle around the fairgrounds, you can choose from a variety of public transportation options. You can opt for shuttle services and public transit that serve both Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. There is also a Bus Group option, as well as private shuttles. State Fair authorities request that large groups coordinate with them in advance for a smooth transition.
The Wisconsin State Fair RV Park is next to the fairground but somewhat separate in nature. Arrive with your RV and enjoy the scenery and the natural attractions of Milwaukee and its surroundings. This park is located no more than a few hundred feet from the fairgrounds. This park offers everything an RV traveler needs, such as electrical, water, and sewer hookups. This campground is open year-round and fair weeks book up quickly, so try to reserve your spot as soon as you can.
Guests can choose from several campgrounds within 30 to 60 minutes in various locations. You can rest up, stay overnight, or just have a good, old barbeque. These typically offer a variety of hookup options ranging from primitive to plentiful. If you would like to take a breath of fresh air and explore raw nature, consider camping in the outer Milwaukee area.
To move around the fairgrounds, fair-goers will have a variety of options. Wheelchairs can be rented onsite, whereas electric scooters can be reserved by phone or online. Renters will need to present a valid, major credit card, including Discover, MasterCard, and Visa as a deposit and may also choose to pay in that method. Cash payments are accepted, but a card is still required for deposit.
Since the Wisconsin State Fair takes place mid-summer, make sure to bring a pair of sunglasses, and a cap or a hat to protect yourself from the sun, along with a pair of comfortable shoes and some lightweight clothing. Keep in mind that August is the month with the highest level of precipitation in the state of Wisconsin. You may want to expect at least some rain during your trip, so remember to pack a light raincoat, just in case.
If you plan to camp at one the locations around Milwaukee, make sure to pack all your standard camping supplies, including a flashlight, a bug spray, grilling equipment, and kitchen supplies. Remember that what is permitted at your campsite will be different than what you can take into the main fairgrounds. Some food and drink items are allowed into the fair, but checking for regulations for performances would be a good idea before attending. For items and gear prohibited at the fairgrounds, don't forget to check out the Fair's official website.
The Wisconsin State Fair is a family-oriented event that mostly takes place outside. To ensure the well-being of yourself and your family members, make sure to bring adequate sunscreen, allergy medicine, and plenty of fresh water. The fair also features baby-changing stations, where you can take care of your little ones, and free sunscreen stations.
The Wisconsin State Fair RV Park does allow cooking but may maintain regulations for fuel allowances and outdoor cooking styles. Tank filling options vary depending on campsite selections, so RVers may desire to fill up in advance an opt for a cheaper site or plan to refill while here if on a longer trek before or after the fair.
If you are not quite in the mood for making your own food, you can just head to one of many restaurants in the vicinity of the fair, and treat yourself to a delicious meal. If you are a fan of Chinese food, Mexican food, or looking for a local specialty you may want to consider looking in the Milwaukee area. The drive is less than 15 minutes and opens the door to meal options nearby.
What is a state fair without hundreds of vendors? Fortunately, the Wisconsin State Fair is well-known for the sheer number and variety of vendors it hosts. Each year the event will feature around 700 vendors, making it a true shopper's paradise. Guests can look to purchase home goods, jewelry, electronic products, cookware, and hand-made items. Of course, you can also buy delicious food and drinks to satisfy you and your group.
Bags will be searched upon entry. Metal detection checkpoints will be present at every gate, so make sure you are not bringing any of the prohibited items. Some of these include weapons of any kind (explosives, knives, firearms), illegal substances, contraband, alcoholic beverages, hoverboards, skateboards, skates, bicycles, glass bottles, and frisbees.
In August, fair-goers can expect plenty of sunny days, albeit with some short rainy periods. To get a clearer picture of what to expect during your trip, make sure to check the weather reports regularly before your arrival. In the event of severe weather, the Wisconsin State Fair authorities will notify visitors, so pay attention to their social media for any updates or changes in the schedule or check in with staff as needed.
Certified and experienced Emergency Medical Technicians provide medical services at the Wisconsin State Fair. First Aid Services are also available, along with Mommy Stations, conveniently located inside the Guest Services Pavilion. If you have any special medical conditions or needs, it may be helpful to inquire in advance if your items will need clearance for a smooth entry.