By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Aug 16, 2022 at 4:26 PM

The great Milwaukee summer is HERE! Don't miss all of our great coverage on local festivals and happenings. Click here for your full summer line-up! 

Your guide to having a great summer is brought to you by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and Peoples State Bank.

The 2022 Wisconsin State Fair was a big hit – and not just because all of our waistlines got a lot bigger between Aug. 4-14.

The late summer statewide spectacular today announced its official attendance total for 2022, and for the first time since before COVID, the State Fair topped a million people through the gates – 1,003,450, to be exact. That total puts the event back in line with its pre-pandemic attendance numbers and marks a 19 percent increase over 2021's return, which brought in 841,074 people – the first year since 2012 not to break a million attendees. 

"After 171 years, the Wisconsin State Fair remains a time-honored tradition for our community and state," said Shari Black, chief executive officer and executive director of Wisconsin State Fair Park, in a release. "The noteworthy attendance of the Wisconsin State Fair is proof that fairs continue to be a mainstay in Wisconsin summers. With another phenomenal State Fair in the books, together as a staff, we look forward to 2023."

The attendance numbers are impressive and heartening to see – but of course, the truly eye-catching totals are the number of cream puffs eaten and Sporkie champions devoured. And Wisconsin, you did not disappoint in 2022, eating 320,000 cream puffs over the course of the State Fair and almost 13,000 of Gertrude's Sporkie-winning Peño Pretzel Popper Brats. (Thank god the State Fair didn't count up how many calories that all equals.) And for a slightly less heart-grabbing – but no less impressive – number, 2022 attendees also om-nommed their way through more than 100,000 ears of corn over the 11-day gathering. Apparently everyone was doing their best impression of this child over the past week and a half:

Anyways, great job, Wisconsin! You've now got just under 365 days to work off all those puffs and popper brats, and get back into grazing condition for 2023's edition, coming your way on Aug. 3-13 next year. Here's to seeing you all then – and seeing what palate-pleasing, heart-horrifying culinary creations the State Fair vendors come up with next year. (Fingers crossed for my CBD-infused cream puff, the "Cream Puff Puff Pass.")

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.