Wisconsin State Fair Park

WI SCONS IN STATE FA I R PARK about maintenance and infrastructure. In 2015 through 2017, we underwent a multi-million-dollar electrical project. We took all of our electrical underground. Up until this electrical project was done, there were wires and large poles in a variety of different places, which restricted how we could program large, clear-span tents, and where we could build if we desired. So, now it’s given us a new landscape of what we could do, plus it’s more energy-efficient.” “And now, we will be embarking on a major, multi- million dollar infrastructure project that will start in October of 2019,” she continues. “It will be in the central quadrant of the 200 acres - the thoroughfare on our Grandstand Avenue, which is the nerve center during the 11-day Wisconsin State Fair. We’re going to create a new central mall area to be a gathering place with ample seating set in a nicely landscaped and lighted area. It’s going to be a brand new gathering place for which the Wisconsin State Park fairgoers will enjoy. That’s a $3 million project, and will be very vibrant, and awe-inspiring.” “We have another $3 million project that we’d like to complete in the coming years that will take two of our 47-year-old bathrooms and renovate them to be state-of-the-art and family-equipped, fully accessible, and gender neutral,” she adds. “Not only do we not have enough stalls and facilities within those bathrooms to meet our Fairgoers’ needs, but we’re not offering the accessibility and amenities we would like. We are meeting codes, but we want to go above and beyond the minimum. Also, we’re looking at a new gate on our west end that would create a safer entrance in our agricultural area off the west side of the Fair Park. That, too, is potentially a $3 million project.” When all is said and done, however, O’Leary believes that the long-term success of Wisconsin State Fair Park is mostly due to the abilities and passion of its employees, many who have been around for 20 years or more: “As a state entity, we have 47 full-time employees, but then, in preparation for the 11-day Fair, we will onboard upwards of 1,700 seasonal employees. This will be my 22nd Wisconsin State Fair in a variety of different positions. And the beauty of the staff that I’m humbled to lead is that they’re all very young and ridiculously talented. The average age is late 30s-early 40s. In this industry, we are sought after as a model fair and certainly a model staff. We’re proud to be among the leading State Fairs in the country and thrive on continual improvements and vision to enhance the experience of the more than one million visitors who attend the Fair annually.”