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11 Things You Must Do at the Wisconsin State Fair

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By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

11 Things You Must Do at the Wisconsin State Fair

Known by some as the “best 11 days of summer,” the Wisconsin State Fair is jam-packed with rural-meets-urban fun. There’s so much going on that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options, but don’t worry: in honor of the 11 days of the Fair, here are 11 things you must do to have the ultimate State Fair experience!

  1. Eat a cream puff. Last year, fair visitors consumed a record-breaking 400,678 of these famous puffs. You’ll have to line up to get one of these iconic treats, but trust me – they’re worth it!
  2. Watch the racing pigs. Far from the big, lazy pigs you’ll see napping in the livestock barns, these little guys are fast and furious, racing for their favorite prize: an oreo.
  3. Check out an agriculture judging. Of course, one of the premiere forms of entertainment at the fair is seeing all the livestock. Make sure to stop by the Case IH Coliseum at least once during your visit to find out who’s taking home the prize!
  4. Eat something on a stick. The only thing more classically State Fair than cream puffs is food on a stick! Get hungry by browsing all of the “fair fare” on their website, including a list of the new treats in store this year.
  5. Go down the Giant Slide. A green and yellow mountain rising up from the fairgrounds, taking a trip down the slide atop your burlap sack is a fun (and fast!) tradition.
  6. Listen to music. With major headliners taking the Main Stage at the Milwaukee Mile each night and great live music on the grounds throughout the day, the fair is a great place to hang out and jam.
  7. Sip flavored milk for 25 cents. Whether you’re thirsty for chocolate, strawberry, root beer, fruit hoops or birthday cake flavored milk, you can get a cup for just a quarter at the Milwaukee Bucks Milkhouse.
  8. Relax at the DNR Park. This wooded oasis is the perfect place to take a break from the bustle and find out more about the natural world of Wisconsin.
  9. Browse the Wisconsin Products Pavilion. An informative and often delicious stop, this is where you’ll learn all about what we produce right here in Wisconsin, from cheese to cranberries.
  10. Find out who won a blue ribbon. Award-winning art, pies, pickles, vegetables, home brews and more will all be on display, so take a stroll to appreciate the handiwork of talented Wisconsin residents.
  11. See baby animals at the Badgerland Financial Discovery Barn. Everyone loves a baby animal! In addition to those cuties, this barn also offers demonstrations and fun activities to help you learn about Wisconsin’s agriculture industry.


Favorite Milwaukee Festivals: Staff Picks!

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By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Festival goers in Milwaukee

Summer is in full swing in Milwaukee, and locals know what that means: festivals! Known as the “City of Festivals,” Milwaukee is host to a wide variety of celebrations throughout the summer. Looking for the world’s largest music festival? Got it. Awesome neighborhood street fairs? Sure thing. Cultural celebrations complete with food, music and dancing? Yup. Bike races? Free festivals? Two fests just for beer? Yes, yes and definitely yes! So many great festivals have already happened, but there are still so many more to come! If you’re looking for the inside scoop, who better to ask than the VISIT Milwaukee team? I asked a few of my coworkers to tell me about their favorite upcoming Milwaukee summer festival, and here’s what they said:

I like Bastille Days, since it’s different from the other ethnic festivals. You don’t feel boxed in, and it’s free!

Brady Street Festival is another one I like a lot. It’s good for people watching and getting that random/quirky Brady Street vibe. I always run into unexpected people I know too, which is fun (mostly).

Last one is State Fair. Can’t beat the crazy foods on a stick!

It’s tough to pick a favorite festival, since they all are so unique and fun. Last year I really enjoyed going to Milwaukee Brewfest. It was fun hanging out in the afternoon in the sunshine on the lakefront with a crowd of people that love beer. There were so many unique craft beers to sample, and afterwards it was an easy walk up the street to Brady Street Festival. We walked up and down the street sightseeing at all the vendor booths and listened to the bands playing in the evening on the stages.

Actually, that’s just an awesome day in the city whether you live in town or are visiting, because the Riverwest 24 is taking place that weekend too. So Saturday morning before hitting up Brewfest and Brady Street, you can check out all the bikers that have been biking all through the night in the Riverwest 24 race. There is a Colectivo Coffee on the bike route, and it’s a nice start to the morning grabbing a cup of coffee on their patio and watching the bikers race by and just thinking how crazy it is that they’ve been riding nonstop for all those hours.

Bastille Days!

Bastille Days is my favorite for many reasons, but I think the reason I love it more than the rest is because of the people there. It is by far the most diverse festival I can think in terms of attendees – old/young, families/couples, college kids/professionals, you name it they’re all there. Everyone seems to be so happy as well, everyone is there to enjoy the same things. Good music, good food, good drinks and great vendors.

Oh and the beignets!

Irish Fest speaks to my Irish soul! I’ve been involved in the theater tent at the festival for years, both acting in shows and organizing. I love the way Irish Fest with its numerous offerings, from music to culture to sports, retail and more, appeals to all ages and sends spirits soaring! Thousands of people singing “Wild Mountain Thyme” together on the last night? Thousands more dancing to Gaelic Storm? Hundreds of colorful Irish dancers? Who doesn’t love that?

Irish Fest is one of my favorite festivals, but I also love Bastille Days. As a local, I don’t think there’s anything more fun than a night run through the city with hundreds of your closest neighbors. To help bridge the gap after Summerfest, Bastille Days sets up shop near Cathedral Square for a weekend filled with amazing food and the city’s best 5K.

And as for myself? German Fest all the way! I love to get myself a big plate of Spanferkel, join in a rousing rendition of “Ein Prosit” and polka the night away. Plus the people-watching can't be beat (hooray for lederhosen!).

Which summer festivals are still on your list? Get the scoop on what's still to come with our festival itinerary.