We asked our Club Goodwill REwards members to tell us their favorite memories of the Wisconsin State Fair for a chance to win a 6-pack of general admission tickets to the fair, a parking voucher, and a 6-pack of delicious Wisconsin State Fair cream puffs! Following are the winning entries ... congratulations to the winners and thank you so much to all who entered!
I was a 11 year 4-H member, however there was one special year that I will never forget. I was in fifth grade and had decided to exhibit a rocket at the county fair, after a science unit at school. My parents had no idea on how to assemble a rocket so I was purely on my own. I borrowed books from the library and read the directions over and over again, perfecting my rocket for the fair. I recall even asking the man at the hardware store about how I should paint it so it would be done perfectly. My hard work paid off and it was selected to go to the Wisconsin State Fair. My parents took a day off of work so that we could go during the week to see it exhibited there, with fewer crowds. It was a special day because it was just me and my parents, and my siblings stayed back with family friends. We found the building where it was on display and took photos as soon as we got there, explored the fair and had many good foods to eat, and then returned to visit it again at the end of the day. I will treasure that memory forever - it reminds me of how important it is to try new things, to learn, to follow through, and to focus. And, it will forever be a memory I treasure with my parents.
My favorite Wisconsin State Fair memory involves my father’s hat, a ferris wheell, and the sideshow.
In the late 70s, I was probably 10 or so, my family made our annual visit to the fair. My only memory of the day is riding the ferris wheel with my father.
We got in the chair and began the ariel view of the fair. As the ride came to it’s conclusion, the wheel stopped to let each car disembark. We were at the top of the ride, waiting to cycle down to the ground when a gust of wind came by and lifted my father’s hat off his head and sent it sailing down to the earth below. Near the amusement rides was a series of trailers that contained sideshow attractions and the windswept topper drifted down, down, down and settled behind one of the trailers. We were lucky to have had a bird’s eye view and were determined to get my dad’s hat when we got off the ride.
Making our way to the area where the hat had landed, we asked permission to go back behind the freak show trailers to get it. We went back and there it was, we found it! But it was not alone back there...standing nearby was The GORILLA LADY!!!! I think she had a bikini on and was very hairy. My dad quickly stated his business, retrieved the hat and we quickly exited the area.
My dad has passed on, but I still recall that day every time I visit the Wisconsin State Fair. What a story and what a wonderful memory of me and my pop!
We grew up a block away from the fair park. We watched the fireworks from our front yard and parked cars around our house. Our dad was a musician; and performed at the Fair for many years with the big band; and his Dixieland groups. Our family members made it a point to visit the Fair each year. The last year of our mom's life was especially hard for her; but she still wanted to go to the Fair. I picked her up in the morning and my sister and I took turns pushing her in her wheelchair to her favorite area of the fair - textile and culinary. To our surprise, Gordon Hinkley - one of Milwaukee's treasures, was there that day walking around and talking with all the folks who had been his fans over the years. Our mom and dad had always been fans of Gordon Hinkley. They listened to his radio programs everyday; and shared his tips and wisdom with us kids all the time. After all these years, our mom got to actually meet the man who made a big impact on our family!!! He spent a considerable amount of time chatting with our mom; and it really made her day. I don't think the cream puff that followed came anywhere near to making our mom happier. Our mom died that November; and one of the things I'll always remember is that her visit this last time was a great memory for her, and for us as well.