Wisconsin State Fair Park

T he Wisconsin State Fair is steeped in tradition. The first Fair was held in 1851 in Janesville. Sponsored by the state’s Agricultural Society, it was held on a six-acre plot along the banks of the Rock River. It featured a 200-pound squash and a quarter-acre plowing competition with teams of horses and oxen. Admission was 10 cents, and attendance reached between 13,000 and 18,000, making it the largest reported gathering in Wisconsin history at the time. In 1859, Abraham Lincoln was invited to give the annual oration at the Fair. He spoke on the principles of free labor - farmers and their families working for themselves without the use of hired labor - and of the interconnectedness of farmers, merchants, and other businesses. He advised farmers to embrace new methods of agriculture, with the goal of raising the standard of living. “In 2019, we will be celebrating the 168th Wisconsin State Fair in the state, and the 127th fair held here in West Allis, on these 200 acres of Wisconsin State Fair Park,” says Kathleen O’Leary, Wisconsin State Fair Park CEO. “The Wisconsin State Fair began in 1851 Wisconsin State Fair Park HOME OF THE WISCONSIN STATE FAIR