Get your "Fair Fix:" Guide to the 2011 Wisconsin State Fair
The 160th Wisconsin State Fair gets underway Thursday at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis. Whether you're a fair veteran or a first-timer, be sure to check this handy guide for all you need to know before getting in line for your cream puff.
There is plenty of parking on-site but get there early, especially on weekends, as the lots can fill up quickly. You'll also find plenty of places to park in the neighborhoods surrounding the Fairgrounds, including in front yards of the closest homes.
The Milwaukee County Transit System offers shuttle service from the Watertown Plank Road Park & Ride lot. Shuttles run every 15 minutes from one half hour before the Fair opens until 30 minutes after the Fair closes. Round-trip fare is $3.
Freeway Flyer service will be available from the Park and Ride lots at Green Bay Road, Brown Deer Road (East), College Ave., Southridge and Whitnall/Hales Corners. Round-trip fares for Flyer service $6.50.
The Fair Park is also served by three regular MCTS Routes: 18, 67 and 76. You can find more information at ridemcts.com.
Riteway Bus Lines operates shuttle service from Washington County to State Fair Park, leaving from the Washington County Fairgrounds and stopping at Kettle Moraine Bowl and the Germantown Life Church. Parking at each stop is free and round-trip fare is $12 for adults. For departure times, schedules, fares and other information, visit ritewaybus.com .
Service is also available from Waukesha County, with routes operating along I-43 and I-94. Buses depart every 30 minutes beginning at 7:30 a.m. For fare and schedule information, visit statefairshuttles.com.
Regular adult admission (12 and older) is $9. Seniors (60 and older), disabled persons and military personnel/veterans (with proper identification) get in for $6. Children (ages 6-11) get in for $5 while those 5 and under are admitted free.
The Fair does have a number of discounted admission programs this year:
Thursday, Aug. 4 – Bring two non-perishable food items for the Hunger Task Force and admission is just $2 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 5 – Out-of-state residents (with proper ID) can purchase two adult tickets for $10 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., courtesy of Discover Wisconsin.
Monday, Aug. 8 – Get a coupon from Sprecher Brewing and your admission is just $6 before 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 9 – All Fairgoers will be eligible for discounted Fair admission from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. All Adults will receive admission for the youth price of $5 (a $4 savings), and youth 11 and under will receive FREE admission.
Thursday, Aug. 11 –Admission after 5 p.m. is just $5 with a coupon from U.S. Cellular.
Sunday, Aug. 14 – Military personnel and veterans receive free admission all day (with proper ID).
Bag checks at all gates – Consistent with procedures at most entertainment venues and special events, new in 2011 all bags and carry-in items will be searched upon entry to Wisconsin State Fair Park during the Fair to enhance the security and safety of all Fairgoers. As always, all patrons are also subject to search and the following items will not be permitted: alcohol, contraband, weapons, illeal drugs and controlled substances, cans, glass bottles, lawn chairs, skateboards, in-line skates, bicycles, kites and Frisbees.
Bargain books – For a great new way to save on foods, beverages and attractions, Fairgoers can purchase the new Fair Deals Bargain Book at any of the 12 Milwaukee-area Fast Track Oil Change Centers for only $3. The Bargain Book features 44 phenomenal deals from Fair vendors and partners, as well as a coupon for over $15 off a full-service oil change at Fast Track. Bargain Books are also available for purchase online and at the Fair Ticket Offices for $4. During the Fair guests can pick one up for $4 at any of the eight conveniently located Fair Information Centers.
Big Bear Show – Families will not want to miss Welde's Big Bear Show and Grizzly Falls, where they'll learn what to do if they encounter a bear in the wild! The show will also teach about bear breeding habits and habitats, while allowing attendees to observe these amazing creatures' individual personalities. Fairgoers can watch the bears catch rings, walk on hind legs, and have fun dancing with the Welde trainers, and some may have the opportunity to feed a Grizzly bear through the fence! The show will take place three times daily at 12:30, 2:30, and 5:30pm in the Big Backyard. In between shows, the bears will be on display with the Grizzly Falls waterfall exhibit where they can swim in a pool and play with various toys. Trainers will be on hand each day of the Fair to answer questions from Fairgoers.
Farm & Family Building – Many of the Fair's agriculture education exhibits, including the veggie car races and Alice in Dairyland, have been relocated to the former Animal Care Building (between the Sheep/Swine and Discovery Barns).
Doggie Weddings – The glitz and glam of Vegas style weddings will be at the Fair for pups. A singing Elvis, champagne bowls, formal attire, doggie-maids and doggie-men will all be part of the new Doggie Weddings. Ceremonies will take place in the Companion Animal Activity Area in the Poultry & Rabbit Palace, Monday, August 8 through Wednesday, August, 10 at noon, 2 and 6 p.m. and Thursday, August 11 at noon and 2 p.m.
Horse show changes – The always-popular Belgian and Percheron Horse Shows will no longer take place on the final weekend of the Fair. This year, the shows will take place nightly from Aug. 8-12.
Kohl's Family Value Day – For every youth admitted free during Kohl's Family Value Day on Tuesday, August 9, Kohl's Cares and the Wisconsin State Fair will donate $1 to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to re-create a "Fair Day" at the hospital for children and their families to enjoy.
UW-Madison Day – Celebrate the state's flagship university with Bucky Badger, the UW Marching Band and alumni from around the world Wednesday, August 10. The day will feature science demonstrations, musical performances, athletic contests, samples of products developed at the university and much, much more. Visit statefair.wisc.edu for more information.
World's Largest Cream Puff – Wisconsin State Fair's own "Puff Daddy" will attempt to set another Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Cream Puff! It will all "rise to the top" in Central Park on Thursday, August 11 during Golden Guernsey Dairy Day. Fairgoers can watch Team Cream Puff as they assemble the giant Cream Puff beginning at 2 p.m.
Parking tip---local high school booster club parking cars on the former greek restaurant site on 82nd and Greeenfield.. money goes to support local sports teams/clubs.
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