Having taken on the Waukesha County Fair, intrepid Lake Country Publications/NOW reporter Megan Sukovich now takes us on the tilt-a-whirlwind adventure that is the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair.
The Waukesha County Fair kicks off Wednesday, July 16, and runs through Sunday, July 20, at the fairgrounds, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Hours are 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $10 at the gate for adults, $5 for ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger. Daily parking is $5. Ride wristbands are $15 through July 15 (valid Thursday through Sunday only).
I'll be covering the fair all week for Lake Country Publications. If you see me, stop and say hello — and don't forget to check out my blog, Fair E-tales, at LivingLakeCountry.com, where you can find stories about events at the fair, photos and videos.
If you're still making plans for your visit to the fair, here's a list of suggestions for the top 10 things you won't want to miss:
1. Fairest of the Fair
Kick off the fair right at the crowning of this year's Fairest of the Fair at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, at the Leinie Lodge Stage. Winners of the countywide competition are selected on the basis of personality, communication skills, school and community activities, professional appearance, knowledge of and experience with the Waukesha County Fair.
Upon their crowning, the Fairest will immediately begin her reign by welcoming the public, interviews with the media, announcing special events, judging and participating in contests and awarding ribbons for the remainder of the fair.
The Fairest will go on to represent the Waukesha County Fair at the three-day Wisconsin State Fairest of the Fairs competition in January 2015 in Wisconsin Dells.
2. Fantastic fair food
From Ruben nachos to deep-fried Oreos, what's not to love about fair food? Taste test some of this year's new items, such as gelato spaghetti, or visit yesteryear with traditional fair favorites such as the cream puff.
3. Musical performances
This year's Miller Light Main Stage has can't-miss performances from Jerrod Niemann, Love and Theft, Blue Oyster Cult and more. Check out the Leinie Lodge and Coors Light Stage for more chances to practice the latest dance moves.
4. Demolition derby
Watch in awe as cars crash, bang and boom into each other at the Demo Derby at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Action Center on the north end of the fairgrounds. This competition is fun for the whole family, with four heats lasting about two hours.
5. Pancake breakfast
What's better than the phrase "all-you-can-eat"? It's a deal that can't be beat! Head to the Leinie Lodge for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 6:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19.. The breakfast is $6 and contributes to the Kiwanis Club of Waukesha.
6. Classic car show
The classic car show is celebrating the fourth annual show. This new fair tradition gathers an array of old-school vehicles that will rev everyone's engine. The event takes place from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at the fairgrounds north of the Midway.
7. Truck and tractor pull
Nobody does a truck and tractor pull than Waukesha County. This event offers never-ending entertainment as a variety of open stock trucks and tractors compete in three divisions: Super Stock, Open Stock and Super Street Diesel. Don't miss the two chances to cheer on the best truck or tractor, with the first show at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, and the second show at noon Sunday, July 20. Both events will be at the Action Center.
8. Midway rides
Thrilling new rides this year are the YoYo, a highflying swing ride; the Sizzler, a spinning machine; and the Mini Himalaya, a fast, dizzying ride. Keep an eye out for other remarkable rides, like the classic 110-foot giant Ferris wheel to get the best view of the fairgrounds.
9. Swampmaster Alligator Show
Watch Swampmaster Jeff Quattrocchi catch an 8-foot, 200-pound alligator with his bare hands. Face fears at this daily display of educational, exhilarating entertainment.
10. Children's Tent
Fun every day for all ages can be found at the Children's Tent in the center of the fairgrounds. Kids can compete in a cream puff-eating contest, or cozy up for story time with Fairest of the Fair. The Children's Tent has the best fair fun to keep kids entertained for hours.