By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 19, 2021 at 12:56 PM

After a rare cancellation last year due to the coronavirus, the Wisconsin State Fair returned in 2021, drawing more than 800,000 fairgoers.

That’s down from 2019’s attendance of 1,130,572, but it’s hardly surprising considering concerns about the COVID-19 variants and their effects.

Here is State Fair 2021 by the numbers:

  • Animals entered into competitions: 8,000+
  • Competitive exhibit entries judged: 7,000+
  • Exhibitors: 2,500+
  • Flowers & plants on display: Nearly 40,000
  • Funds raised by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction: $303,800
  • Funds raised by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction: nearly $109,000
  • Funds raised by the Blue Ribbon Dairy Products Auction: $54,000+
  • Cream Puffs sold: nearly 300,000
  • Grilled cheeses sold: 47,000+
  • Baked potatoes served: 26,000+

“We have an overwhelming amount of gratitude for the opportunity to have hosted the 170th Wisconsin State Fair and celebrate everything we should be so proud of in our great state,” said Kathleen O’Leary, chief executive officer of Wisconsin State Fair Park.

“Seeing smiling faces enter our gates again after 724 days was a tremendous accomplishment for our staff, vendors, exhibitors, and board of directors. While we were faced with challenging weather conditions for several days, we persevered to provide the best experience possible for all.”

The 2022 Wisconsin State Fair is slated for Aug. 4-14.

The Wisconsin State Fair has only been canceled five times in its 169-year history, including in 1945, during World War II, at the request of the U.S. Office of War Transportation.

Three of the other cancellations were during the Civil War – 1861, '62 and '63 – and the fifth time was during the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.