Walworth County Fair kicks off Wednesday in Elkhorn
The Walworth County Fair is always the last blast of summer and this year is no different.
But fair organizers always like to mix things up, bringing in new food vendors and entertainment.
Here are the five things you need to know about what's new at the fair—and what's special about the Walworth County Fair experience.
1. New food. Let's face it: We use the fair as an excuse to eat food that we wouldn't consider eating or preparing at home. Cream puffs are the best example.
Fair public relations coordinator Sue Pruessing is excited about this year's choices.
“We've got pig in a cone,” Pruessing said. “The cone is made of some kind of bread, and they put pulled pork or barbeque in it.”
Look for pig in a cone at the Barbeque Express stand.
Next up? Cheese and sausage for charity.
More specifically Bavarian sausage and cheese from the Carter-Williams Charities. Michael Carter-Williams is a Milwaukee Bucks player who has been involved in Special Olympics and other charities.
Next, travel south from Bavaria to the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean Foods booth features Greek salads, bruschetta and other treats from the area.
Food is always super sized at the fair: giant turkey legs, cream puffs the size of your head and half-gallon cups of Mountain Dew. This year, add cupcakes to the giant food trend.
“Carnival Cupcakes makes giant cupcakes in a half-pint milk carton,” Pruessing said.
Carnival also offers large samplers of mini cup cakes.
After that, you can get homemade ice cream, churned as you watch.
2. Friday! Friday! Friday! In front of the grandstand in downtown Elkhorn! Monster Trucks!
In the past, the fair's grandstand entertainment has included up to four musical acts.
“We wanted to try something new,” Pruessing said.
The monster trucks come courtesy of All Star Motorsport Productions and will feature Nitemare a 2007 Chevy Silverado that looks like its mother was a public works department pickup and its father was one of those mining trucks with a 3,750 hp engine.
Also, look for a custom-built dump truck and Kamikaze Kid and his fire stunts.
Noise protection is recommended, especially for children.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. A preshow meet and greet will be held between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Also new this year is the Bulls 'n' Barrels show. Pruessing stressed that this was not a rodeo. The show will feature professional bull riding. Every dollar that the riders win goes to their national standings.
The show will also feature professional barrel racing.
3. Clever canines. The Marvelous Mutts will be making their first appearance at the fair.
The shows feature dogs catching Frisbees, racing through obstacle courses and dock diving into a pool.
All of the animals were adopted. One was a stray picked up in the streets of Miami. Another comes from a municipal animal control center. Many come from herd breed rescue services from people who discovered, too late, that dogs of a herding breed need a lot or exercise or they go crazy.
Audiences get the chance to interact with the dogs.
When you're done watching the show, stop by the Lakeland Animal Shelter tent to look at the animals who still need a home.
4. Ag education and fun. Kiddieland, the Discovery Barn and the Barnyard Adventure areas aren't new, but they always have new events.
In Kiddieland, look for chances to participate in potato sack racing, hula dancing and a pigtail/ponytail/braid contest. Also, don't miss the pickle-eating and freckles contests.
The main attraction in the Discovery Barn is the baby animals including pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ducks and guinea pigs. Also, don't miss the diving ducks.
Finally, if you ask nicely, they might let you try milking either a cow or a goat.
5. The rest, both new and old: What else can you see? The fair features “open class” exhibitors. These are adults competing against each other. The vegetable and canning displays are like artworks. The quilts are stunning.
Look for open class competitions in clothing, woodworking, draft horses, beef and dairy cattle.