By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Central Wisconsin State Fair Executive Director Adam Fischer is working around the clock to make sure this year’s event goes off without a hitch. He said that for about one month leading up the start of the fair, it is not uncommon for him to put in 16-hour days.
This year’s fair begins on Wednesday, Sept. 2, and runs through Monday, Sept. 7. Part of the reason Fischer has such a full plate is because he helps oversee in excess of 200 contracts for vendors, exhibitors, and entertainers who will occupy the fairgrounds. This is Fischer’s second year as executive director. Last year he took over that position about one month before the start of the fair and said he feels more ownership of this year’s event.
Starting on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m., the fair will introduce a new entertainment element called Central Wisconsin’s Got Talent. This will bring together winners of regional competitions, which were open to entertainers of all kinds from musicians to comedians and more.
“We’re really excited about that because what we’re trying to do is work with all of the local communities that view the Central Wisconsin State Fair as their fair,” Fischer said.
Wednesday through Friday the Junior Fair will have multiple exhibitors set up across the fairgrounds. Animals of all kinds, including beef cattle, horses, llamas, and more as well as arts and crafts activities, highlight the Junior Fair.
Howie Sturtz and the Vic Ferrari Band will perform at the grandstand on Thursday, and the rock band Tonic will take center stage on Friday night. On Saturday starting at 11 a.m. the Grandstand will host a truck and tractor pull.
New this year, magicians Magic & Mayhem will bring entertainment to attendees on multiple days as they will perform all over the fairgrounds. Also new will be a bull riding event on Monday starting at noon at the grandstand. Fischer said he had seen bull riding at other fairs and thought it would be a fun event to bring to Marshfield. The last event of the fair will be a demolition derby Monday night at 6 p.m.
Fischer said the budget this year to put on the fair is $555,000, which is a reduction from years past.
“It’s been anywhere from $500,000 to up to $1 million budget to put on the fair,” Fischer said. He added that the event generates between $500,000 and $750,000 in revenue, a total that can fluctuate greatly based on the weather. All of the money goes back to the Central Wisconsin State Fair Association, which allocates the funds to the following year’s fair.
Fischer said that attendance for the fair is generally between 50,000 and 100,000 people and that last year about 52,000 attended. He is hoping for about 55,000 people to attend this year.
Fischer added that the long hours prior to the fair kicking off are well worth it for him.
“I love working for the fair. I think it’s fun to put it on. It’s something important I think to the community, and I want it to keep growing,” Fischer said, adding that he hoped the agricultural community and general population would enjoy and be proud of the event.
General admission to the fair is $9 for adults, $6 for teens, and $3 for children. For more pricing and event information, visit centralwisconsinstatefair.com.