State Fair opens in West AllisWisconsin News
-- The 161st annual Wisconsin State Fair opens this morning in West Allis.
WEST ALLIS - The 161st annual Wisconsin State Fair opens this morning in West Allis.
It’s 11 days of entertainment, animal judging, food-on-a-stick – and of course, the fair’s legendary cream puffs. Ventriloquist and comedian Jeff Dunham will perform on the main stage tonight.
Security will be stepped up, to avoid a repeat of last year’s Opening Night violence in which groups of young people went on a vandalism-and-robbery sprees both in-and-around the fairgrounds. Eleven people were hurt and 31 were arrested. The fair responded by allowing those under 18 to be admitted only with adults in the evenings. That policy continues.
Despite the melees, last year’s total attendance at the State Fair exceeded 900,000 for the first time in at least a decade. If there are any declines this year, Mother Nature might be to blame. Animal and vegetable exhibitors say they’ve been hurt by the heat and the summer-long drought – and some have said they’ll scale back their entries this year, or not enter at all. The mercury is expected to hit 90 in southern Wisconsin for the next three days, before a cold front brings cooler readings on Sunday and Monday.