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Food, fun and farm animals featured at 2015 Wisconsin State Fair

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Gina Duwe
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WEST ALLIS—It’s only seven days until fairgoers can indulge in the Wisconsin State Fair’s famous original cream puff, take a ride down the 200-foot Giant Slide or hop on the Sky Glider.

This year’s event includes new foods, new rides and a new sea lion exhibit.

Here are five things to know about the Wisconsin State Fair, which runs Thursday, Aug. 6, to Sunday, Aug. 16.

Food: You may already have your favorite fair food, but vendors this year will offer more than 100 new foods and beverages. Many involve bacon, beer or a stick. Here’s a sampling:

--A burger made with 50 percent bacon and 50 percent beef, from the Machine Shed.

--Bacon bottom pizza (bacon-weave pizza crust), from Brew City.

--Beer-battered, pretzel-coated cheese curds, from Tropics at the Fair.

--A wealth of deep-fried foods, including alligator bites on a stick, apple pie wonton, artichokes, baklava, bananas, fruit on a stick, olives on a stick, pickle dog, pretzel-crusted brownies on a stick and surf and turf, from various vendors.

--Maple-and bacon-glazed chocolate butter cream-filled long John, from Aggie’s Bakery & Coffeehouse.

--Party Hard Dessert Flight (hard beverage-infused parfaits), from Sprecher Landing.

--Pineapple beverage served in a pineapple, likewise for a watermelon, from Drink a Fruit from a Fruit.

--Tipsy Black Cow (hard root beer float), from Slim McGinn’s Irish Pub & Slim McGinn’s West.

Entertainment: Along with ticketed admission to big-name acts on the Main Stage, the fair offers free entertainment in the Bank Mutual Amphitheater, as well as several smaller stages. The Main Stage kicks off with Boston and closes with Kenny Rogers.

New this year is Plein Air at the Fair, where Wisconsin artists will interpret the fair on canvas. Visitors are free to watch as artists set up their easels around the fair to create fair-inspired masterpieces. The artwork will be judged and out up for sale Tuesday, Aug. 11, in the Exposition Center Lobby.

The new Sea Lion Splash show, located on South Grandstand Avenue, will teach lessons about marine wildlife and conservation. The traveling show featuring sea lions balancing balls and shooting hoops will take place daily at 12:30, 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Rides: The fair offers more than 55 rides and attractions, including eight new rides. If you have little ones eager for the rides, buy a 40-pack of tickets for $20 online at WiStateFair.com now through Aug. 5 to save $10.

New rides include:

--Super Nova, a 130-foot-long roller coaster that is making its Wisconsin debut.

--Equinox, which takes riders on a dizzying journey 75 feet up, orbiting on three axes.

--New York, New York, a four-story funhouse shipped from Italy.

--Daytona, where kids steer to move in and out of the raceway against opponents.

Animals: The fair wouldn’t be complete without animals, from the giant Clydesdales down to racing pigs. The Case IH Coliseum features daily shows, and hundreds of animals are scattered throughout the grounds as youth compete for blue ribbons.

The highlight for junior livestock exhibitors is the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, in the coliseum. Last year’s auction raised a record amount of more than $320,000.

Kids can see mother animals and their newborns in the Badgerland Financial Discovery Barnyard, while the House of Moo and Milking Parlor provide a primer on Wisconsin’s dairy industry.

Aside from farm animals, a K-9 Sports Arena also will feature daily shows and demonstrations on dog dock diving, dancing dogs, agility and police K-9 units.

Exhibits: Find everything from a youth art show, a natural resources park for hands-on play, an energy park to learn about solar-powered race cars or cooking and grilling demonstrations, and of course, 4-H exhibits and displays.

The Green & Growing Garden Walk will feature a plant kaleidoscope, bison sculpture and tea garden.

If you’re up for shopping, the 200,000-square-foot Exposition Center is the place to be, as are several other shopping areas at the park.



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