By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Aug 15, 2023 at 12:26 PM Photography: Wisconsin State Fair Facebook

Festival City is hopping this summer! OnMilwaukee's Festival Guide is brought to you by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Escape the heat and step inside! 

While we're still digesting all the cream puffs and deep-fried apple pies and cheese curd tacos we gulped down over the past week and a half, the Wisconsin State Fair has finished digesting its attendance numbers for 2023 – and the results are once again Sporkie-worthy.

According to the State Fair's tabulations, the 2023 edition drew more than a million attendees – 1,043,350, to be exact. That total is not only larger than last year's number (1,003,450) but also marks the second largest attendance tally for the late summer celebration since 2000. The biggest Wisconsin State Fair this side of the millennium came in 2019, drawing 1,130,572 attendees during its August run. 

“We’re blown away by the commitment our incredible Fairgoers, exhibitors, vendors and staff have that continue to make the Wisconsin State Fair a time-honored tradition,” said Shari Black, executive director and CEO of Wisconsin State Fair Park, in a release. "Thank you to all who helped showcase our state during the best 11 days of summer."

Of course, the truly impressive numbers come in the food and drink departments, where we really show how hard we hit the State Fair. And again, it was a year for our waistlines to remember as Fairgoers ate 307,000 cream puffs during the 11-day Sconnie celebration as well as almost 25,285 orders of the first place Sporkie-winning beer cheese Wisconsin lava cakes from WurstBar. And to wash that all dough and dairy down, Fairgoers glugged more than 9,000 of Old Fashioned Sipper Club's inaugural Drinkie-winning Ferris Mules. I'm proud of you, Wisconsin – truly admirable work.

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As for State Fair numbers that won't make your arteries cringe, attendees hit the classic Giant Slide almost 100,000 times during the event while the Governor's Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction broke the Fair's previous record with $403,150 raised this year. 

Here's to topping all those numbers when the Wisconsin State Fair rolls back around next year – which the Fair also announced, set for Aug. 1-11, 2024.

For more information on the State Fair and what's all coming to Wisconsin State Fair Park between now and next year's edition, click here. Now, if you excuse me, I'm off to OrangeTheory to attempt to work all those cheese curd tacos off ... 

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.