In Festival Guide

Nearly 82,000 people spun around the WonderWheel.

State Fair attendance tops 1 million for fifth straight year

Wisconsin State Fair officials announced today that the 2017 fair drew 1,028,049 visitors, marking the fifth straight year that attendance has exceeded 1 million people.

Last year, fair attendance was 1,015,815. In 2015, it was 1,033,053; 1,030,881 attended in 2014; and 1,012,552 came through the gates in 2013.

After some rain on day one, it sure seemed like the 2017 State Fair enjoyed some great weather.

Ready for some other fun fair facts?

The fair, which celebrated its 166th birthday this year, also marked 125 years at its current home.

Folks took almost 82,000 rides on the new WonderFair Wheel Ferris wheel, while 125,000 rear ends slid down the giant yellow slide, quite a few while I was feasting on potato pancakes at Cracovia next door.

Catalano's squeezed more than 42,000 lemons to make that yummy lemonade, and Albanese's Roadhouse sold just short of 10,000 spaghetti and meatballs mozzarella sticks, which, not coincidentally, was this year's Sporkies champion.

But the number I know you really want is this one: 408,000. Rounded downward, that's the number of cream puffs you ate and I know, Milwaukee, you'd do it again if you had the chance.

There were nearly 3,700 exhibitors at the pair, taking part in contests in art, agriculture, cooking, horticulture and more.

Number of grilled cheeses consumed by kids at the fair? They didn't provide numbers but, anecdotally, I'd guess a ton.

Unexpected fact, again anecdotally: it appears the amount of frozen custard consumed at the fair is zero, which seems astonishing for the custard capital of the world.

Fun fact I learned at this year's fair: if you order ice cream in the Wisconsin products pavilion, they'll give you both cherries AND chocolate sauce. And all these years I thought you had to choose. You're welcome.

Next year's fair is slated for Aug. 2-12, so you've got time to work off those 408,000 cream puffs to make room for more.

Oh, Milwaukee Bucks, please bring the banana milk back to the Milk House. That is all.


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